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Love, Lucia

Lucia Berlin: Letters to August Kleinzahler, 4 August 2005

... Lucia Berlin died on 12 November 2004, her 68th birthday. Almost all of her short stories can be found in three volumes published by Black Sparrow Press: ‘Homesick: New and Selected Stories’ (1990), ‘So Long: Stories 1987-92’ (1993) and ‘Where I Live Now: Stories 1993-98’ (1999). The earliest of the stories dates from 1977 ...

Put it away, like a good girl

August Kleinzahler, 16 March 2000

Where I Live Now: Stories 1993-98 
by Lucia Berlin.
Black Sparrow, 240 pp., $25, March 1999, 1 57423 091 3
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... 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 ...

Sex on the Roof

Patricia Lockwood, 6 December 2018

Evening in Paradise: More Stories 
by Lucia Berlin.
Picador, 256 pp., £14.99, November 2018, 978 1 5098 8229 8
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Welcome Home: A Memoir with Selected Photographs 
by Lucia Berlin.
Picador, 160 pp., £12.99, November 2018, 978 1 5098 8234 2
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... There​ ought to be a cult, really, of teenagers with Lucia Berlin’s books in their back pockets, hair combed into black bouffants, imitating her squint against sunlight. The writers she is most directly associated with – Robert Creeley and Ed Dorn – were of the Black Mountain School, but she seems somehow to have more to do with the Beats, perhaps because she was always on the run; perhaps because of the drug addiction of her third husband, Buddy Berlin; perhaps because you can easily imagine her holding a tambourine or with her legs crossed around a bongo drum ...

Sprigs of Wire

Ange Mlinko: On Jo Ann Beard, 21 March 2024

Collected Works 
by Jo Ann Beard.
Serpent’s Tail, 439 pp., £17.99, August 2023, 978 1 80081 788 3
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by Jo Ann Beard.
Serpent’s Tail, 79 pp., £10, August 2023, 978 1 80081 785 2
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... mothers in mid- century America. Beard shares seriocomic territory not only with Moore, but with Lucia Berlin, Joy Williams and Grace Paley. The problem with charm, as Angela Carter wrote in a piece about Paley in these pages, is that it can be cloying (LRB, 17 April 1980). ‘You’re helping someone out for once,’ a mother says to her grown son. A ...

Eat your own misery

Tessa Hadley: Bette Howland’s Stories, 4 March 2021

‘Blue in Chicago’ and Other Stories 
by Bette Howland.
Picador, 329 pp., £12.99, July 2020, 978 1 5290 3582 7
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... Elizabeth Hardwick, Jean Stafford (these two had been better known as Robert Lowell’s wives) and Lucia Berlin, whose luminous short stories seem to me as good as anyone’s. Now Picador have published Blue in Chicago, a collection of stories by Bette Howland, born in 1937, a Jewish writer from a working-class neighbourhood in Chicago. She married and ...

At the Guggenheim Bilbao

John-Paul Stonard: Marc Chagall, 19 July 2018

... us,’ Chagall later wrote. World events were rumbling. He left Paris early in 1914, stopping in Berlin in May for the first exhibition of his work, mounted by Herwarth Walden in his gallery Der Sturm, before returning to Russia. It was the last time he saw Apollinaire, who died four years later of the Spanish flu. It was also the last time he saw Paris in ...

Cooking it up

Rupert Christiansen, 19 January 1989

Maria: Callas Remembered 
by Nadia Stancioff.
Sidgwick, 264 pp., £13.95, April 1988, 0 283 99645 5
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Callas at Juilliard: The Master Classes 
by John Ardoin.
Robson, 300 pp., £16.95, April 1988, 0 86051 504 4
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Callas as they saw her 
edited by David Lowe.
Robson, 264 pp., £6.95, April 1988, 9780860514961
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The Great Caruso 
by Michael Scott.
Hamish Hamilton, 322 pp., £16.95, June 1988, 0 241 11954 5
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by Victor Borovsky.
Hamish Hamilton, 630 pp., £25, April 1988, 0 241 12254 6
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... and flexibility of articulation unparalleled in this century: we are not short of interpreters of Lucia di Lammermoor or of tenori di grazia who can skate up and down the runs of a Rossini aria. It could reasonably be argued that we hear pre-Classical music sung more idiomatically, and serial and post-serial music more competently, than our fathers did. The ...


John Kerrigan, 13 October 1988

Archaic Figure 
by Amy Clampitt.
Faber, 113 pp., £4.95, February 1988, 0 571 15043 8
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by Grevel Lindop.
Carcanet, 95 pp., £6.95, July 1987, 0 85635 697 2
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Sleeping rough 
by Charles Boyle.
Carcanet, 64 pp., £5.95, November 1987, 0 85635 731 6
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This Other Life 
by Peter Robinson.
Carcanet, 96 pp., £5.95, April 1988, 0 85635 737 5
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In the Hot-House 
by Alan Jenkins.
Chatto, 60 pp., £4.95, May 1988, 0 7011 3312 0
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Monterey Cypress 
by Lachlan Mackinnon.
Chatto, 62 pp., £4.95, May 1988, 0 7011 3264 7
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My Darling Camel 
by Selima Hill.
Chatto, 64 pp., £4.95, May 1988, 0 7011 3286 8
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The Air Mines of Mistila 
by Philip Gross and Sylvia Kantaris.
Bloodaxe, 80 pp., £4.95, June 1988, 1 85224 055 5
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by Edward Kamau Brathwaite.
Oxford, 131 pp., £6.95, April 1988, 0 19 281987 9
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The Arkansas Testament 
by Derek Walcott.
Faber, 117 pp., £3.95, March 1988, 9780571149094
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... force, this imaginative map ingrained with irony. Starting from a description of a Greek statue in Berlin, it moves towards the               middle of the earth, yearned- for stepmotherland of Hölderlin and Goethe that is Hellas, and remains, even through a sequence of undistinguished poems on George Eliot and Dorothy Wordsworth, haunted by ...

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