Lucia Berlin

Lucia Berlin

Lucia Berlin (1936-2004) worked brilliantly but sporadically throughout the 1960s, '70s and '80s. Her stories are culled from her early childhood in various Western mining towns; her glamorous teenage years in Santiago, Chile; three failed marriages; a lifelong problem with alcoholism; her years spent in Berkeley, New Mexico, and Mexico City; and the various jobs she later held to support her writing and her four sons, including as a high-school teacher, a switchboard operator, a physician's assistant and a cleaning woman.

Photo © Buddy Berlin

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Four short story collections to read this summer

The state of the short story has been much-debated recently. The form is having a come back, say some; short story writers still feel in the shadow of novelists, say others; aren't novels just long stories anyway, so why do we pit them against each other? say others again. The debate is as alive and well as the stories themselves, as these four collections that Picador is publishing this summer will testify. (If we say so ourselves.)