About this item

A collection of previously uncompiled stories from the short-story master and literary sensation Lucia Berlin

In 2015, Farrar, Straus and Giroux published A Manual for Cleaning Women, a posthumous story collection by a relatively unknown writer, to wild, widespread acclaim. It was a New York Times bestseller; the paper's Book Review named it one of the Ten Best Books of 2015; and NPR, Time, Entertainment Weekly, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and other outlets gave the book rave reviews.

The book's author, Lucia Berlin, earned comparisons to Raymond Carver, Grace Paley, Alice Munro, and Anton Chekhov. Evening in Paradise is a careful selection from Berlin's remaining stories-twenty-two gems that showcase the gritty glamour that made readers fall in love with her. From Texas to Chile, Mexico to New York City, Berlin finds beauty in the darkest places and darkness in the seemingly pristine. Evening in Paradise is an essential piece of Berlin's oeuvre, a jewel-box follow-up for new and old fans.



About the Author

Lucia Berlin

Berlin was born Lucia Brown in Alaska in 1936. Her father was a mining engineer and her earliest years were spent in the mining camps and towns of Idaho, Kentucky, and Montana.

In 1941, Berlin's father went off to the war, and her mother moved Lucia and her younger sister to El Paso, where their grandfather was a prominent, but besotted, dentist.

Soon after the war, Berlin's father moved the family to Santiago, Chile, and she embarked on what would become 25 years' worth of a rather flamboyant existence. In Santiago, she attended cotillions and balls, had her first cigarette lit by Prince Ali Khan, finished school, and served as the default hostess for the father's society gatherings. Most evenings, her mother retired early with a bottle.

By the age of 10, Lucia had scoliosis, a painful spinal condition that became lifelong and often necessitated a steel brace.

In 1955 she enrolled at the University of New Mexico. By now fluent in Spanish, she studied with the novelist Ramon Sender. She soon married and had two sons. By the birth of the second, her sculptor husband was gone. Berlin completed her degree and, still in Albuquerque, met the poet Edward Dorn, a key figure in her life. She also met Dorn's teacher from Black Mountain College, the writer Robert Creeley, and two of his Harvard classmates, Race Newton and Buddy Berlin, both jazz musicians. And she began to write.

Newton, a pianist, married Berlin in 1958. (Her earliest stories appeared under the name Lucia Newton.) The next year, they and the children moved to a loft in New York. Race worked steadily and the couple became friends with their neighbors Denise Levertov and Mitchell Goodman, as well as other poets and artists including John Altoon, Diane diPrima, and Amiri Baraka (then LeRoi Jones) .

In 1961, Berlin and her sons left Newton and New York, and traveled with their friend Buddy Berlin to Mexico, where he became her third husband. Buddy was charismatic and affluent, but he also proved to be an addict. During the years 1962-65, two more sons were born.

By 1968, the Berlins were divorced and Lucia was working on a master's degree at the University of New Mexico. She was employed as a substitute teacher. She never remarried.

The years 1971-94 were spent in Berkeley and Oakland, California. Berlin worked as a high-school teacher, switchboard operator, hospital ward clerk, cleaning woman, and physician's assistant, while writing, raising her four sons, drinking, and finally, prevailing over her alcoholism. She spent much of 1991 and 1992 in Mexico City, where her sister was dying of cancer. Her mother had died in 1986, a probable suicide. In 1994, Edward Dorn brought Berlin to the University of Colorado, and she spent the next six years in Boulder as a visiting writer and, ultimately, associate professor. She became a remarkably popular and beloved teacher, and in



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