Where I Live Now: Stories 1993-1998
Homesick (1990) and So Long (1993), her immensely popular short story collections, established Lucia Berlin as the Sister of Mercy of contemporary fiction. In Where I Live Now, Berlin once again contemplates the human condition with a compassionate understanding. Berlin's vision is sometimes remorseful, sometimes resigned, always courageous and unmisgiving.The elusive nature of happiness is a compelling theme here: the survivors in these stories -- many of them society's marginal or excluded people, fighting alcohol or drug addiction, bearing emotional scars -- recognize it all too well. They mourn the lost dreams of youth, the roads not taken. They suffer the damage life inflicts: the ache of loneliness, the pain of separation, the fear of death.
Lucia Berlin was a short story writer with a small, devoted following during her lifetime. She rose to sudden literary fame eleven years after her death, in 2015, with Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s publication of a volume of selected stories, A Manual For Cleaning Women, edited by Stephen Emerson. It hit the New York Times bestseller list and, within a few weeks, had outsold all her previous books combined.