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A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN
by Lucia Berlin, Stephen Emerson [Ed.], Lydia Davis [Foreword] | Read by Thom Rivera, Dawn Harvey, Carol Monda, Hillary Huber, Bernadette Dunne, Kyla Garcia

In her foreword to this collection, Davis writes, “Her sensitivity to the sounds of the language is always there, and we too savor the rhythms of the syllables or the perfect coincidence of sound and sense.” While meant as a reflection on Lucia Berlin’s writing, the words hold equally true for the narrators of this short story collection. They each (with a special nod to Carol Monda and Hillary Huber) slip easily inside the sidelined and marginalized characters who populate these semiautobiographical stories. Berlin’s writing, both tempered and elastic, provides a perfect springboard, and the narrators use it to full advantage: gracefully leaping, twisting, and—when called for—landing with force on the emotional heart of each story. K.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine