Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 1999. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's color-printed textured-paper wraps, mustard endpapers.
Berlin's collected later fiction, featuring 18 elegiac stories about ordinary, working class people set mostly in the American west, including "Let Me See You Smile," "Sometimes In Summer," "A New Life," and "Wait a Minute": "Time stops when someone dies. Of course it stops for them, maybe, but for the mourners time runs amok. Death comes too soon. It forgets the tides, the days growing longer and shorter, the moon. It rips up the calendar.... The bad part is that when you return to your ordinary life all the routines, the marks of the day, seem like senseless lies." Berlin won critical acclaim and several awards during her lifetime, but was largely overlooked by the reading public. She subsisted working a series of odd jobs and teaching writing, and suffered from poor health. Her selected stories were published posthumously in 2015, under the title A Manual for Cleaning Women, with an introduction by Lydia Davis, and became a bestseller. Issued simultaneously with a limited hardcover edition. Fine. Item #2165