"A new life", unpublished stories in Spanish by Lucía Berlin, an "incredible" woman

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Pilar Martin.

Madrid, Nov 4 (EFE).- The American writer Lucía Berlin died 19 years ago, but there are still texts to be discovered, and that is what "A New Life" proposes, a book written by her son Jeff Berlin where you can find fifteen unpublished stories in Spanish written by this "incredible" woman who never felt like a "victim."

For Jeff, one of the four children the writer had, talking about his mother still brings tears to his eyes, but in this case they are tears of joy because thanks to her, and her writings, he is now a literary editor in charge of giving know everything that has not yet been read about her, such as the stories "Manzanas", her first story, or "The Birds of the Temple", included in this volume (Alfguara).

"She was a happy woman, but she also had problems because her life was crazy. People used to think of her as if she were a woman who had a life full of adventures, but they really weren't because she would suddenly fall into situations that would go wrong. "For my brothers and me, our childhood was like a constant state of anxiety," says Jeff, currently retired and in charge of his mother's literary work, in an interview with EFE.

But although in their childhood they were always "dizzy", with the feeling of "what is going to happen to us next?", they were always clear that their mother was an "honest" person with herself and with the people who surrounded her. they surrounded.

"We recognized and respected his writing a lot, we understood how well he did it. It is true that it was difficult for us to read it at times because it was extremely personal, but I think that now we have a totally different perspective," he says while announcing that he is already preparing a book about the "thousands of letters" Berlin wrote to family and friends.

Of course, until this discovery is published, in these new unpublished stories in our language what we can see is a Berlin in grace, despite the fact that her life was a chain of bad jobs, men who did not treat her as they should or, even a rape as a teenager.

"We adored our mother, of course, but sometimes she got a little mixed up. We didn't know if she was going to disappear in the middle of the night, if she was going to come home, if she was going to be arrested, or if she was going to lose her job." , Jeff remembers about his childhood and adolescence.

Although, he acknowledges, "it is necessary to look at life from a distance" to realize that "Lucía Berlin had a brilliant head." A mind from which "extremely personal" texts came out because everything written was born from her experience, as was the case with her greatest success "Manual for cleaning women", where she portrays those women she met when she also dedicated herself to this job.

"She lived things in life a lot and then tried to put them in her own words," she says about her source of inspiration, her life, that of the people who surrounded her, especially women.

Although Jeff claims that his mother did not feel like a feminist, because even though she was "treated very badly by many men and people in the family," she never saw herself as a "victim."

"She herself said that what happened to her was her fault. But she was an incredible woman, she forgave everyone, she forgave everything, she didn't have many enemies, she didn't hate her parents, her husbands or boyfriends, she just said things good news from absolutely everyone," he clarifies.

Specifically, one of the unpublished stories in Spanish from Berlin that appear in this book, "Apples", was the second story written by her in 1957 - when she was 20 years old - for a creative writing course. A text that no one liked, but it was always one of her favorites even though it was full of sadness.

And it is at this point in the interview that Berlin's son finds an explanation as to why his mother found so many complications in publishing her work.

"The agencies, the publishing houses," she laments, "were normally run by men and they didn't even want to hear about anything that my mother said." EFE


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