"Berlin probably deserved a Pulitzer Prize." —Dwight Garner, The New York Times
New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. Named one of the Best Books of 2018 by The Boston Globe, Kirkus, and Lit Hub. Named a Fall Read by Buzzfeed, ELLE, TIME, Nylon, The Boston Globe, Vulture, Newsday, HuffPost, Bustle, The A.V. Club, The Millions, BUST, Reinfery29, Fast Company and MyDomaine.
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.
This wonderful posthumous collection from Berlin (A Manual for Cleaning Women) ranges from short, one-page stories about the poor and working class to longer romantic tales about the disaffected daughters of aristocrats in South America. The collection is significant partly because it reveals the centrality of homesickness and geography to Berlin's work. The elegant title story is set in a hotel in Mexico where the cast and crew of The Night of the Iguana are staying. The American movie stars living in "paradise" at the resort are worn out and distracted compared to the vibrant Mexicans who run the hotel. "Lead Street, Albuquerque" follows two young couples whose lives are interrupted when a friend moves into their building and marries a 17-year-old girl. The friend, who becomes a wildly successful artist, leaves his young wife in the care of the other women, who help her care for her baby. One of the longest stories in the collection is "Andado: A Gothic Romance," which follows Laura, a 14-year-old schoolgirl in Chile, as she visits the estate of wealthy widower Don Andres. The sexual tension between the older man and the younger girl escalates and eventually confuses the girl's innocent notions of romance. Berlin's writing achieves a dreamy, delightful effect as it provides a look back through time. This collection should further bolster Berlin's reputation as one of the strongest short story writers of the 20th century.