Welcome Home
A compilation of sketches, photographs, and letters, Welcome Home is an essential nonfiction companion to the stories by Lucia BerlinBefore Lucia Berlin died, she was working on a book of previously unpublished autobiographical sketches called Welcome Home. The work consisted of more than twenty chapters that started in 1936 in Alaska and ended (prematurely) in 1966 in southern Mexico. In our publication of Welcome Home, her son Jeff Berlin is filling in the gaps with photos and letters from her eventful, romantic, and tragic life.From Alaska to Argentina, Kentucky to Mexico, New York City to Chile, Berlin's world was wide. And the writing here is, as we've come to expect, dazzling. She describes the places she lived and the people she knew with all the style and wit and heart and humor that readers fell in love with in her stories. Combined with letters from and photos of friends and lovers, Welcome Home is an essential nonfiction companion to A Manual for Cleaning Women and Evening in Paradise.

Welcome Home Details

TitleWelcome Home
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 6th, 2018
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN-139780374287597
Rating
GenreNonfiction

Welcome Home Review

  • Kasa Cotugno
    January 1, 1970
    Welcome Home is an unfinished autobiography, which Lucia Berlin was working on but never had a chance to finish. Much of this material is familiar to me since I recently read Evening in Paradise, a linked series of short stories, fictionalized accounts of her life which covered much of the same ground. What Berlin did best was write about what she knew, and reading this in conjunction with her fantasized version of the same events, gives an original portrait of this fascinating woman who should Welcome Home is an unfinished autobiography, which Lucia Berlin was working on but never had a chance to finish. Much of this material is familiar to me since I recently read Evening in Paradise, a linked series of short stories, fictionalized accounts of her life which covered much of the same ground. What Berlin did best was write about what she knew, and reading this in conjunction with her fantasized version of the same events, gives an original portrait of this fascinating woman who should have had acclaim while alive. This book with its loose structure shows remarkable retention of early years. She was born in Juneau, Alaska, in 1936, and due to her father being a mining engineer, was moved around a lot. After the war, the family spent several years in Santiago, Chile, in elegant surroundings, before her enrollment in the University of New Mexico. Included here is a wealth of photographs, which along with these vignettes of her actual life, bring to life a person whose talent is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Since she died before being able to complete this book, it would be too slight for publication, so the last half is padded out with personal letters provided by friends and family. I must admit to a certain impatience with this form, which accounts for the less than 5 star rating. Welcome Home will be published concurrently with Evening in Paradise on November 6, 2018.
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book through the goodreads giveaways and was asked to give it a review. I feel like if you knew the author, or maybe even if you are familiar with her other books, that it might be more intriguing than I found it. There was a line in one of her letters that said “I keep beginning to end this illegible letter” and that’s kind of sums up how this book felt to me. Reading one sided letters from someone I don’t know to other people I don’t know wasn’t that interesting for me.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    An affecting memoir from an underappreciated, great American writer. I must confess I'd not read anything of Berlin's before but intend to change that. Spare prose zeroes in on the most evocative details, sublimely capturing the impressionistic cast of memory. A particularly effective technique in the hands of someone whose life story is a nomadic journey, where sleeping arrangements, the smell of cockroach spray, the refrains of Bible shows on the radio next to the bed, the enchiladas eaten onl An affecting memoir from an underappreciated, great American writer. I must confess I'd not read anything of Berlin's before but intend to change that. Spare prose zeroes in on the most evocative details, sublimely capturing the impressionistic cast of memory. A particularly effective technique in the hands of someone whose life story is a nomadic journey, where sleeping arrangements, the smell of cockroach spray, the refrains of Bible shows on the radio next to the bed, the enchiladas eaten only when a beloved uncle visited, and the "dunes of dust” come to define and mark place and time. Yet there is a distance, too. Berlin doesn't dwell on the losses, the bohemian hardships, and the fears of her third husband's addiction. She records them, unvarnished, as if filling out the list she made in the 1980s and which is appended to this unfinished memoir. It's a list of complaints for each of the 33 houses she lived in throughout her life. A charming addition to the memoir, since one imagines you'd have to have a sort of catalogue or mnemonic device for reconstructing such a peripatetic life story. It also shows the tension between the beauty of Berlin's art and the hardscrabble realities of the artist's life. The rest of the book includes letters written to and from Berlin at all stages of her life, including very sweet exchanges between her and her miner father (the reason she moved around so much as a child). The letters, however, might be better appreciated by a more avid Berlin devotee. As it is, they make difficult and at times tedious reading for a newcomer. But a fascinating volume nonetheless. I'm happy that FSG is systematically releasing Berlin's work in a stylistically uniform set and looking forward to the other books.
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  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    This was a book I won in a giveaway and I was very curious about this book based on the info mentioning the author had passed away and didn’t get a chance to finish the story as a whole but also I had never heard of this author. Overall, this was a unique read and I liked the personal parts such as the photographs and letters written between each other. This book confused me at many points jumping around so much but that could just be how this author writes. Like I said I have never heard of Luc This was a book I won in a giveaway and I was very curious about this book based on the info mentioning the author had passed away and didn’t get a chance to finish the story as a whole but also I had never heard of this author. Overall, this was a unique read and I liked the personal parts such as the photographs and letters written between each other. This book confused me at many points jumping around so much but that could just be how this author writes. Like I said I have never heard of Lucia Berlin so this is the first book of hers I got to experience and read. She did a good job but again misspellings and a bunch of confusion jumping around with so much in so little space. I want to look into more of her books to try and see if I can enjoy this author more. It’s very sad though that this author is gone. Overall, it was an ok read in my opinion.
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  • Pat
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of "Welcome Home" by Lucia Berlin, through the "Good Reads First Read's Giveaway."This is a story about the life of Lucia Berlin. Being a beautiful woman and also a talented writer, does not prevent hardships in your life. I enjoyed learning about her live, I also learned many facts which effected her development. I am unfamiliar with this author, but am tempted to see how her experiences are reflected in her work. This is an intimate and honest book about a troubled life I received a free copy of "Welcome Home" by Lucia Berlin, through the "Good Reads First Read's Giveaway."This is a story about the life of Lucia Berlin. Being a beautiful woman and also a talented writer, does not prevent hardships in your life. I enjoyed learning about her live, I also learned many facts which effected her development. I am unfamiliar with this author, but am tempted to see how her experiences are reflected in her work. This is an intimate and honest book about a troubled life with many personal disasters. Her long and newsy letters are like a "Time Capsule".
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    This little book was wonderful! I am already a fan of Berlin's writing style, having read excerpts of her previous short story collections; I will definitely be seeking out more in the future. This collection was a bit disjointed, but that is to be expected as it was published posthumously. The inclusion of photographs made it that much more special and personal. Highly recommended for current (and future!) Fans of Lucia Berlin.
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  • Kathy Shaw
    January 1, 1970
    “Welcome Home” by Lucia Berlin reads like a journal, her thoughts and observances without frills and letters she had written to or received from friends and family from the time she was a child. I had never heard of Lucia Berlin but her life was so interesting that now I will read her short stories.
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  • Carole Knoles
    January 1, 1970
    Welcome Home is a fantastic companion book to the reading of Lucia Berlin’s stories. I wish that everyone would discover this superb writer too soon gone. Welcome Home fleshes out who this iconic author was.
  • Abbie Joiner
    January 1, 1970
    I loved every page of this. The pictures made it even better!
  • Rhonda Lomazow
    January 1, 1970
    Lucia Berlin shares her real life relationships her loves affairs travels accompanied by photographs.Lucia led an interesting life free of many daily conventions a true free spirit.Perfect accompaniment to her stories.
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