Put it away, like a good girl

August Kleinzahler

  • Where I Live Now: Stories 1993-98 by Lucia Berlin
    Black Sparrow, 240 pp, US $25.00, March 1999, ISBN 1 57423 091 3

Lucia Berlin is a Western writer, by which I do not mean a genre writer of cowboy tales like Zane Grey or the younger Elmore Leonard, but that her stories, with only a few exceptions, are situated west of the Great Plains or in Mexico. Berlin herself was born in Alaska and spent most of her childhood in Chile – a setting for several stories. The daughter of a mining man, she also lived in Montana, Idaho, Arizona and Texas. El Paso, in Texas, is revisited time and again in her writing. Her adult life has been spent in New Mexico, Mexico and the San Francisco Bay Area, chiefly Oakland, and she now lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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