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Evening in Paradise


"Berlin's new book is a marvel, filled with deeply touching stories about lives ...
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Discuss Evening in Paradise by Lucia Berlin:
What element of Berlin's writing style did you enjoy the most? Does her writing recall any other authors to mind?

Created: 11/04/19

Replies: 10

Posted Nov. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2245

What element of Berlin's writing style did you enjoy the most? Does her writing recall any other authors to mind?

What element of Berlin's writing style did you enjoy the most? Does her writing recall any other authors to mind?


Posted Nov. 30, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lesleyf

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 89

RE: What element of Berlin's writing style did you enjoy the most? Does her writing recall any other authors to mind?

Her short "sentences" with just a word or two are great fun - as if you were speaking with her. Reminds me of Ernest Hemingway's short sentences but Lucia Berlin's are more fun.


Posted Nov. 30, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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patriciag

Join Date: 07/11/14

Posts: 32

RE: What element of Berlin's writing style did you enjoy the most? Does her writing recall any other authors to mind?

I particularly liked her vivid descriptions of the natural world of her stories. I felt she was working from experience, in "plein air" (not sure of my French) like the impressionist. She knew these places intimately.


Posted Dec. 01, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 143

RE: What element of Berlin's writing style did you enjoy the most? Does her writing recall any other authors to mind?

I also thought of Hemingway but maybe it was the bull fighting in the story “Sombra.”


Posted Dec. 01, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 89

RE: What element of Berlin's writing style did you enjoy the most? Does her writing recall any other authors to mind?

I see other comments comparing Berlin's style to Hemingway's. I could agree with that, but that was not my first thought. Berlin does write vividly of nature. In "Itinerary," she writes, "It was sunset as we circled Albuquerque. The Sandias and the miles of rocky desert were a deep coral pink." She also writes descriptively in other scenes. In "A Foggy Day," these lines captivated my imagination: "The ferry was barely visible in the fog, an elegant heavy Victorian lady, skirting tugs and obtusely slow garbage barges. The ferry creaked slowly, carefully, into the landing." Who else would think of comparing the ferry to "an elegant heavy Victorian lady"? The words certainly convey an image.


Posted Dec. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lole

Join Date: 11/30/19

Posts: 25

RE: What element of Berlin's writing style did you enjoy the most? Does her writing recall any other authors to mind?

Her simple descriptions paint vivid pictures--we are on that ferry, in that apartment, on that beach. (It wasn't just a guy who brought sand for the talapia floor, but "one-eyed Luis".) Her dialog--whether spoken or internal-- is funny, frightening, and bittersweet, drawing me into the life of her characters. I am moved by the turn of events in stories, when someone's humanity or vulnerability becomes apparent.


Posted Dec. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 423

RE: What element of Berlin's writing style did you enjoy the most? Does her writing recall any other authors to mind?

Berlin's short stories reminded me of Flannery O'Connor's writings the most.


Posted Dec. 11, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 240

RE: What element of Berlin's writing style did you enjoy the most? Does her writing recall any other authors to mind?

I enjoyed very much Berlin's ability to evoke such strong feelings and connections with her writing. I felt like she was telling me a story. Her writing placed me in the setting of her stories-I was at the Oceano, drinking a margarita, and watching the shenanigans of the regulars and movie stars. Her sentences were raw and gritty. I didn't have to read them twice or three times to understand what she trying to convey. (But I did anyway because I loved how she put the words together.)


Posted Dec. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 422

RE: What element of Berlin's writing style did you enjoy the most? Does her writing recall any other authors to mind?

She was good at painting pictures with her descriptions.


Posted Dec. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 285

RE: What element of Berlin's writing style did you enjoy the most? Does her writing recall any other authors to mind?

Her descriptions made me feel as I were really there and experiencing the events, or happenings of the story. I, too, felt the sentences were in the vein of Hemingway.


Posted Dec. 24, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Elizabeth Marie

Join Date: 05/26/18

Posts: 57

RE: What element of Berlin's writing style did you enjoy the most? Does her writing recall any other authors to mind?

I love the way Berlin conveys a vivid image with just a word or two. She shows the sunset, the people on the bus or the character with just a few well-chosen words. Her dialogue is economical, precise and direct. Like others, I thought of Hemingway’s style. The element that I enjoyed the most was her ability to see the extraordinary in very ordinary events and places.


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