A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin

Reading these stories, it’s kind of hard to believe they weren’t written and originally published as a single collection, they all go together so nicely There are recurring themes and settings and characters, a kind of grit and hardness, sophisticated writing about unsophisticated things (rehab; laundromats). But it never feels mismatched. Not a word out of place. Unforgettable images. So many things happen in these stories, and the world in which they’re set is richly populated.

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