A Manual for Reading Women: Spectacular Short Stories

Shelf Renewal

It’s big news when short story collections get major book buzz. And the story behind Lucia Berlin’s A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories is one worth repeating. Little known, but fiercely admired, Berlin published six collections of short stories before her death in 2004. Often compared to American great Raymond Carver, this compilation celebrates the work of a writer who rightly deserves a wider readership. Fans of the form, old or new, will want to dive into these other compelling collections, too.

A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin(Be a real hero and put short story fans down for this fall’s Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, by Bonnie Jo Campbell, while you have them at the desk!)

Accordion Crimes, by Annie Proulx

Birds of America, by Lorrie Moore

The Collected Stories, by Grace Paley

The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel, by Amy Hempel

Can’t and Won’t, by Lydia Davis

Do the Windows Open?, by Julie Hecht

Don’t Cry, by Mary Gaitskill

The New Yorker Stories, by Ann Beattie

Tell Me a Riddle, by Tillie Olsen




About the Author:

Karen Kleckner Keefe is the director of the Hinsdale (IL) Public Library, a Booklist reviewer, and one of Library Journal's 2009 "Movers and Shakers." Follow her on Twitter at @KarenKleckner.

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