`BOOK ⇥ Handleiding voor poetsvrouwen ☞ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

4.5 Afterward we went to a Chinese restaurant But it was closingYes, we always arrive when it s closing That s when they order takeout pizza How they had originally found this out I can t imagine They introduced me to the waiter and we gave him money Then we sat around a big table with the waiters and chefs and dishwashers, eating pizzas and drinking Cokes The lights were off we ate by candlelight They were all speaking Chinese, nodding to us as they passed around different kinds of 4.5 Afterward we went to a Chinese restaurant But it was closingYes, we always arrive when it s closing That s when they order takeout pizza How they had originally found this out I can t imagine They introduced me to the waiter and we gave him money Then we sat around a big table with the waiters and chefs and dishwashers, eating pizzas and drinking Cokes The lights were off we ate by candlelight They were all speaking Chinese, nodding to us as they passed around different kinds of pizza I felt somehow that I was in a real Chinese restaurant Lucia Berlin s stories have been much acclaimed for a long time The quotation above is typical of them only in the unusual juxtaposition of people and circumstances Mostly, she writes from her own life, not in any order, and many of the stories feature alcoholics, drug addicts, violent encounters, and or living a free and easy life with a kind of abandon I can t begin to summarise anything, about the stories It s enough to say that each has its own appeal Some are rough and raw and uncomfortable, and some are tender and insightful, with characters from young children to extremely old people There has been a fair bit written about her work, so I ll just add a bit from the biography and a few quotes I liked The stories aren t written as if they re autobiographical, but they obviously come from her life Her own life is outlined at the end of the book, and it must have been an unusual one She was certainly striking looking This is a common publicity shot from 1963, taken by her then husband, jazz musician Buddy Berlin.Lucia Berlin, 1963, by Buddy BerlinShe was born in Alaska in 1936 where her father was a miner, so she began life in mining camps In one story, she the narrator is five, and Kent Shreve is her boyfriend best friend As far back as I can remember I have made a very bad first impression That time in Montana when all I was trying to do was get Kent Shreve s socks off so we could go barefoot but they were pinned to his drawers You can imagine what the adults must have made of that In 1941, her father was off to war, so her mother moved the two girls to El Paso, where grandfather was a dentist and a drunk Doesn t bear thinking about Here s a quote from one story, which takes on a whole new meaning when you know who the dentist is I hated St Joseph s Terrified by the nuns, I struck Sister Cecilia one hot Texas day and was expelled As punishment, I had to work every day of summer vacation in Grandpa s dental office After the war, they all moved to Chile, where mother was a drunk while she played hostess to father s guests, like Prince Aly Khan, and had what the editor refers to as a rather flamboyant existence In 1955, she went to the University of New Mexico She married a sculptor, mixed with writers and musicians, married Buddy Berlin, a jazz musician, and began to write Her settings range from little kids playing, older kids experimenting, ER hospital worker, and many others, including, of course, cleaning women This is from the title story Some lady at a bridge party somewhere started the rumor that to test the honesty of a cleaning woman you leave little rosebud ashtrays around with loose change in them, here and there My solution to this is to always add a few pennies, even a dime This is a pair of young friends on a sleepover We stayed awake waiting to hear his parents doing it but they never did I asked him what he thought it was like He held his hand up to mine so our fingers were all touching, had me run my thumb and forefinger over our touching ones You can t tell which is which Must be something like that he said From one of the hospital stories I like my job in Emergency Blood, bones, tendons seem like affirmations to me I am awed by the human body, by its endurance Thank God because it ll be hours before X ray or Demerol Maybe I m morbid I am fascinated by two fingers in a baggie, a glittering switchblade all the way out of a lean pimp s back I like the fact that, in Emergency, everything is reparable, or not A discussion of death, also in the hospital Mr Gionotti s death was good There were a lot of them, sitting, standing, touching, smoking, laughing sometimes I felt I was present at a celebration, a family reunion One thing I do know about death Thebetterthe person, theloving and happy and caring, the less of a gap that person s death makes When Mr Gionotti died, well, he was dead, and Mrs Gionotti wept, they all did, but they all went weeping off together, and with him, really There were stories in Mexico Occasionally there are recurring characters or overlapping stories There are one night stands, short dalliances, and longer love affairs Most include sensual, languid scenes, where couples almost accidentally just happen to make love, and they make you wonder what her young life was like She certainly has a good understanding of people living in pent up, nervous America compared to laid back Hispanic countries Solitude is an Anglo Saxon concept In Mexico City, if you re the only person on a bus and someone gets on they ll not only come next to you, they will lean against you From another story I miss the moon I miss solitude In Mexico there is never not anyone else there If you go into your room to read somebody will notice you re by yourself and go keep you company There is an especially sensual, sexual holiday affair in a Mexican village, where American visitor Eloise convinces a local fisherman to teach her to scuba dive and they end up entwined underwater Terrific writer These are five star stories, no doubt, but I recommend reading them piecemeal, not one after another I read too many in a row, and it made it feel repetitious, but I m afraid that s my fault, not the author s or the editor s.More here Evocative and sharp, the stories of A Manual for Cleaning Women vividly portray the joys and pains of everyday life In neat prose Berlin lends a voice to women in the Southwest as they navigate difficult terrain such as divorce, alcoholism, death, and existential angst, all the while seeking pleasure and solace in small miracles A widowed school teacher reinvents herself on vacation in Todo Luna, Todo A o, while two sisters cope with the sorry state of their lives at a beachside resort in G Evocative and sharp, the stories of A Manual for Cleaning Women vividly portray the joys and pains of everyday life In neat prose Berlin lends a voice to women in the Southwest as they navigate difficult terrain such as divorce, alcoholism, death, and existential angst, all the while seeking pleasure and solace in small miracles A widowed school teacher reinvents herself on vacation in Todo Luna, Todo A o, while two sisters cope with the sorry state of their lives at a beachside resort in Grief Many of the best pieces are reflective and autobiographical, readinglike literary personal essays the opening story fully renders the author narrator s fleeting connection with a Native man at a laundromat, and there s nothing else quite like it in the collection Berlin has a talent for descriptive prose, but her plotting tends to be predictable, her characterization solid but not especially nuanced Favorites include Angel s Laundromat, Stars and Saints, and A Manual for Cleaning Women Warning Skip the two introductions to the book, unless you want to know how many of the stories end before you read them In the case of the audio book, skip ahead to track 15 of CD 1 What were the people who wrote the introductions, and then the people who let them do it, thinking A beautiful collection of short stories that inspire compassion and imagination The multiple audiobook readers did well Given how the book is autobiographically inspired and the author was fluent in Spanish, it w Warning Skip the two introductions to the book, unless you want to know how many of the stories end before you read them In the case of the audio book, skip ahead to track 15 of CD 1 What were the people who wrote the introductions, and then the people who let them do it, thinking A beautiful collection of short stories that inspire compassion and imagination The multiple audiobook readers did well Given how the book is autobiographically inspired and the author was fluent in Spanish, it would have been better if the readers had checked the occassional Spanish words included Also, would have enjoyed knowing who each reader was I first met Lucia Berlin in 1991 as the significant other of one of her sons, who remains my closest friend Though I knew she wrote short stories, it was something that was mentioned in passing and I never seemed to make the time to read them I am thankful that I didn t My age and experiences have just added to the thrill of discovering her writing now I wish you could be here to see this, Lucia Your time has come I was a little afraid to read this book What if I didn t like it Or think I first met Lucia Berlin in 1991 as the significant other of one of her sons, who remains my closest friend Though I knew she wrote short stories, it was something that was mentioned in passing and I never seemed to make the time to read them I am thankful that I didn t My age and experiences have just added to the thrill of discovering her writing now I wish you could be here to see this, Lucia Your time has come I was a little afraid to read this book What if I didn t like it Or think it was good I wanted to have a good perspective so I read new stories by Alice Munro, Hilary Mantell, Elizabeth McCracken, Edith Pearlman and then I started A Manual for Cleaning Women I m not sure what I expected but I did not expect the brilliance that I found I absolutely LOVE this book I have laughed out loud, I have shed tears and marveled at the language Butthan anything, I see myself in a different way with the light of her writing shining on me Entertainment Weekly has it right If you read one book this summer, read this one I wasn t going to review this book I really wasn t Because how does one even begin to go about describing what it feels like to be in love Ok, maybe that s hyperbolic, but at the same time I m feeling the same excitement and utter loss for words I almost skipped this book because of all the hype Because that s the kind of person I am I figured there s no way I won t be disappointed by a book getting this much press and acclaim But I am here to tell you that I, the coldest heart this side I wasn t going to review this book I really wasn t Because how does one even begin to go about describing what it feels like to be in love Ok, maybe that s hyperbolic, but at the same time I m feeling the same excitement and utter loss for words I almost skipped this book because of all the hype Because that s the kind of person I am I figured there s no way I won t be disappointed by a book getting this much press and acclaim But I am here to tell you that I, the coldest heart this side of the Mississippi, always ready and willing to hate, believe the hype is entirely justified and that this book needsThis collection of short stories is a masterpiece.I ve only had this feeling with a few other authors Shirley Jackson, Lydia Davis, Vladimir Nabokov You just have a moment when you re reading where you go wow, this person is actually a literary genius and I am not worthy Prepare yourself for that feeling Lucia Berlin is incredible in the least pretentious way possible When you read her stories it s like being told a story by a friend Granted, a friend who s seen a lot of life Her writing is beautiful without it being easy to put your finger on why Not a word is wasted and her voice is so strong and compelling Normally I mark a bunch of passages that I like, but I had to give up with Berlin, because I loved it all so much I was running out of book darts After a long time the cranes did come Hundreds, just as the sky turned blue gray They had landed in slow motion on brittle legs Washing, preening on the bank Everything was suddenly black and white and gray, a movie after the credits, churning.As the cranes drank upstream the silver water beneath them was shot into dozens of thin streamers Then very quickly the birds left, in whiteness, with the sound of shuffling cards The stories in this book are a selection of her best works put in order chronologically What s brilliant about this is that Lucia Berlin writes very autobiographical stories It essentially feels like you re growing beside her, like you re watching her life unfold And this lady has been through all sorts of shit For a while she lived in mining camps in America, then she moved to Chile where she lived flamboyantly into her 20s She moved back to America and lived much less flamboyantly She worked as a maid She was married 3 times, had some kids, had some affairs, and struggled with alcoholism for most of her life Most of her stories are about poverty, alcoholism, relationships, family, death That s part of why I thought I wouldn t be interested, but I was wrong Berlin is sharp as a tack, she has all sorts of hutzpah, and boy can she tell a story often in only a few pages or less Women s voices always rise two octaves when they talk to cleaning women or cats I still really don t know what to say about this collection of short stories I m tongue tied I don t want to try to describe the pieces, because I know they ll all fall flat in my summation All I can ask is that you please take the time to AT LEAST read this excerpt from it Carpe Diem was one of the stories that really got to me and you can read it online here I m so grateful to have read A Manual for Cleaning Women I genuinely feel lucky to have had the opportunity, which is an incredible feeling to have after reading a book I want you to feel that too The only reason I have lived so long is that I let go of my past Shut the door on grief on regret on remorse If I let them in, just one self indulgent crack, whap, the door will fling open gales of pain ripping through my heart blinding my eyes with shame breaking cups and bottles knocking down jars shattering windows stumbling bloody on spilled sugar and broken glass terrified gagging until with a final shudder and sob I shut the heavy door Pick up the pieces onetime Full review Outlandish Lit What a wonderful discovery how is it possible only few of us knew of Lucia Berlin Hard core readers should all be in love with her without question Her stories are pitch perfect witty, unpredictable,funny, tragic, sad Her humor is oblique, original The stories are so personal, clearly autobiographical, and I wonder if there were a few about her alcoholism so painful to read that she may have not wanted to see them published No matter how self destructive she may have been, there is al What a wonderful discovery how is it possible only few of us knew of Lucia Berlin Hard core readers should all be in love with her without question Her stories are pitch perfect witty, unpredictable,funny, tragic, sad Her humor is oblique, original The stories are so personal, clearly autobiographical, and I wonder if there were a few about her alcoholism so painful to read that she may have not wanted to see them published No matter how self destructive she may have been, there is always joy, love and lust for life in each story, a spark of hope And what a beautiful woman she was four stars instead of five only because in this pretty thick collection, a few stories were weaker than others and slightly repoetitive But only a few I am not a good reader of short stories I find them anticlimactic And they don t stick in my memory the way a novel does It was the window of a bookshop in the center of Madrid that first presented me Lucia Berlin I was walking around with friends after a tapas round and we all took notice of the very alluring exhibit I can t identify what intrigued me about the way her books were displayed Soon after one of the friends gave me this volume view spoiler in Spanish but I could exchange it I am not a good reader of short stories I find them anticlimactic And they don t stick in my memory the way a novel does It was the window of a bookshop in the center of Madrid that first presented me Lucia Berlin I was walking around with friends after a tapas round and we all took notice of the very alluring exhibit I can t identify what intrigued me about the way her books were displayed Soon after one of the friends gave me this volume view spoiler in Spanish but I could exchange it for the English edition hide spoiler Had I gone to buy it, realizing that it was not a novel would have probably prevented me from purchasing it Gifts are very often blessed gifts When I began reading it, however, the usual anticlimactic effect of short stories prompted an even greater puzzling response I felt very uncomfortable with some of the episodes and began to wonder how much longer it would take me to finish the volume The dreariness and the bleakness were so discouraging, offputting even It made me think of the tetralogy of Elena Ferrante with their depiction of Neapolitan misery and wondered what was different between them apart from the very Americanness and the very Italianness why one elicited a certain rebuff while the other one just glued me I wondered whether Berlin s accounts rangtrue and thereforehopeless.Anyway, about half way through the collection, suddenly something clicked in my mind and I realized that the stories could be conceived as a single novel a sort of partly fictionalised autobiography and that I had missed the whole point behind the various accounts Consequently I thought that I was a pretty stupid reader So, this is half a review I want to reread the book paying attention to how the fragmented accounts can form a single narrative with a continuity of sorts and then come back to this writeup And yet, after realizing my stupidity I went back to the introductions one excellent by Lydia Davis and then saw that no, this is officially a collection of stories, and the selection and order in this edition is not Lucia Berlin s but Stephen Emerson s So, my new conception of this being a novel is most probably a stupid one This could not be another Cortazar sRayuela Or maybe not I have to read it again as a novel and see what my conclusion will be I am also now fascinated obsessed by Berlin s writing Reading this collection of short stories was a little like going to MOMA and admiring a piece of modern art you know nothing about At first you think, hmm, it s kinda neat, but then the harder you look thethe beauty shines through.As the stories unfold in A Manual for Cleaning Women you realize they are all loosely connected, that there is a strand of consciousness Gradually, Berlin s words begin to eat away at you.I won t say I loved this book but what I will say is that her words haunt Reading this collection of short stories was a little like going to MOMA and admiring a piece of modern art you know nothing about At first you think, hmm, it s kinda neat, but then the harder you look thethe beauty shines through.As the stories unfold in A Manual for Cleaning Women you realize they are all loosely connected, that there is a strand of consciousness Gradually, Berlin s words begin to eat away at you.I won t say I loved this book but what I will say is that her words haunted me I know already, just four stories in, that this will be a 5 Star read for me And that a few weeks from now because I am reading slowly, to savor each bit I will struggle to pick my favorites from the forty two short stories collected here So this review contains tidbits from those stories which most capture my heart and brain and I will update as I move along Angel s LaundromatA laundromatthat transient, warm, sad spacewhere we watch others sorting, folding, watching us But I know already, just four stories in, that this will be a 5 Star read for me And that a few weeks from now because I am reading slowly, to savor each bit I will struggle to pick my favorites from the forty two short stories collected here So this review contains tidbits from those stories which most capture my heart and brain and I will update as I move along Angel s LaundromatA laundromatthat transient, warm, sad spacewhere we watch others sorting, folding, watching us But mostly we re all just waiting It s a waiting space One of the loneliest Berlin captures this loneliness, and the chance encounters possible if we happen to catch the eye of someone else sitting in those miserable molded plastic seats Dr H.A MoynihanWherein a young girl yanks out all her Grandpa s teeth Not quite as vicious as it sounds, but also not for the faint of heart Fabulous Brutal Stars and SaintsLucia Berlin comes up with these sentences, buried amidst all her brilliant sentences, that make me ache to write This, That day on the playground I knew that never in my life was I going to get in It s a brilliant opening line, don t you think One I d like to craft an entire story around Yet it s just one in a collection of such lines in this wry, strange and sad little story A Manual for Cleaning WomenOh This Ache Melancholy Grief The beauty of being present Like the laundromat, Berlin takes us into another transient, lonely space Here it is a city bus, where one sees the same faces traveling the same routes, where relationships are built from habit and shared experience, in those brief, moving encounters.El TimeEvery high school teacher s nightmare the student who is smarter, stronger, full of cunning and allure Her First DetoxA mother of four sons, a successful teacher, awakens in a detox unit without any knowledge of how she got there, or memories of her most recent binge to become the darling of the ward Sweet, tender, devastating Emergency Room Notebook, 1977 and Temps PerduBoth stories gleaned from the author s experiences working in hospital wards Good deaths and bad deaths, Code Threes and Code Blues Spare, unflinching, brilliant.Todo Luna, Todo A oA middle aged English teacher on holiday at a Mexican beach resort Love, tragedy, scuba diving Heartbreaking Beautiful.MelinaShort story perfection One of those you d teach in an English class because it s so elegantly, precisely constructed, with a BAM ending UnmanageableThe horror of alcohol addiction rendered in three tight, devastating pages StraysI read this aloud, because the language was so powerful The sentences like knife cuts and hammer blows The content so upsetting This story will stay with me for a long time to come.Grief, Fool to Cry, Pante n de Dolores, Mama, Wait A MinuteThere are a string of stories, starting with the aforementioned Todo Luna, Todo A o featuring the two sisters Sally and Dolores, connected but not each is a sketch, a study, a new angle on the motif of these sisters shared and disparate experiences Sally, long a resident of Mexico City, is dying of cancer Dolores arrives to care for her, and their perspectives are threaded through in moments of reflection and tangled action reaction Mexico City, in its frenetic rush to live and die furiously, noisily, with color and music and trampling feet, becomes a character in its own right Carmen, MijitoBerlin conveys despair in such a way that despite yourself, you cannot look away These young woman speak directly to the reader with such a lack of spite, bitterness, regret their lives are a series of horrors, yet each moves through like a bird through a storm cloud The best and worst of the human condition live in these stories SilenceA young girl s voice, heard no heard, as she navigates the terrible world of adults, seeking beauty Will she end up just like them Sighs, the rhythms of our heartbeats, contractions of childbirth, orgasms, all flow into time just as the pendulum clocks placed next to one another son beat in unison Fireflies in a tree flash on and off as one.The sun comes up and it foes down The moon waxes and wanes and usually the morning paper hits the porch at six thirty five.Time stops when someone dies Time stops with each story in this collection These are not easy reads and I needed a deep breath and some distance after each story But Berlin s is some of the most astonishing writing I have read Ever It pains me that it has taken so long for us to recognize her power and mastery, that she will never know how deeply she has affected this new generation of readers But do yourself a favor Make it a priority to read this collection take all the time you need, dip in and out, but know that you will finish a different human being than when you started `BOOK ⇔ Handleiding voor poetsvrouwen ↝ Handleiding voor poetsvrouwen bevat het beste werk van de legendarische korte verhalenschrijfster Lucia Berlin In een krachtige mix van humor en melancholie belicht Berlin de wonderen van het alledaagse De vrouwen in haar verhalen zijn verloren, maar ze zijn ook sterk, slim en buitengewoon oprecht Het zijn lifters, harde werkers en slechte christenen die zich begeven in een wereld vol jockeys, doktoren en telefonisten Ze lachen, ze treuren, ze drinken en telkens weet Berlin, met de scherpte van Lorrie Moore en de vastberadenheid van Raymond Carver, ze stuk voor stuk voor altijd een plek te geven in ons hart