Welcome Home by Lucia Berlin

Welcome Home

A compilation of sketches, photographs, and letters, Welcome Home is an essential nonfiction companion to the stories by Lucia Berlin.Before Lucia Berlin died, she was working on a book of previously unpublished autobiographical sketches called Welcome Home.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 f...

Details Welcome Home

TitleWelcome Home
Release DateNov 6th, 2018
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Short Stories, Biography, Literature, Biography Memoir, Womens, Art, Photography

Reviews Welcome Home

  • Jon Nakapalau
    This was such a wonderful examination of a life that ebbed with vitality and creative curiosity. Lucia Berlin marches to the beat of her own drum and never tries to blame where the marching takes her on anyone. It is so rare to find such honesty and stoic acceptance of both the good and the bad; to be able to observe yourself in the context of the here and now objectively. The pictures add to the feeling that you are 'conversing' with the author....
  • Tara
    If you're familiar with Lucia Berlin's short stories (collected in A Manual for Cleaning Women) this book will add a new perspective to familiar territory. Half of the book is an unfinished memoir, taking us from the author's peripatetic childhood to marriage and motherhood in her bohemian mid-thirties. Family snapshots accompany the text. The second half is made up of her wild, chatty letters covering the same period. She would live for another ...
  • Kasa Cotugno
    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 origi...
  • Karen Auvinen
    Reading this book was like sitting with Lucia, who was my mentor, at her kitchen table in flat near the Boulder foothills. The first half of the book--impressions of the places she lived ---is beautifully rendered in Lucia's evocative, minimalist style. I could hear her voice in the passages--so funny and delicate and devilish. Honestly, this book made me miss her all over again. Lucia was a force of nature and lived a rich and tumultuous life as...
  • tortoise dreams
    An unfinished autobiography by the recently rediscovered author, structured around the many places she lived, supplemented with letters she wrote.Nonfiction Review: Welcome Home is interesting and occasionally lovely, but not quite necessary for anyone but Lucia Berlin (1936-2004) acolytes. Of course there are many more such (including me) since the publication of her selected stories, A Manual for Cleaning Women. The first half is an early draft...
  • Julia
    Ugh I love her. She is such an extraordinary writer of place, always so earnest and vivid. I was heartbroken when the final (not final) line broke off halfway. If you've read and enjoyed anything else by Lucia Berlin, this will feel like a behind-the-scenes look with little nods to some of her best stories.
  • Spiros
    More refractions, refractions on refractions...the first half of this desperately thin tome is the beginnings of a memoir, in which Berlin sketches the places in which she has lived, ending on the road, in Chiapas, in the mid-1960's. Many of the passages are repeated word for word in her short stories. The remainder of the book is a selection of her letters, mainly to Edward and Helene Dorn, which forms another narration, more ingenuous and guard...
  • Natalia
    I received an advanced readers copy of this book as part of Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you Farrar, Straus and Giroux for sending it my way. It was a solid read. I especially enjoyed the diary entries written by Lucia. However, I do believe that a person who is familiar with Lucia's short stories would appreciate this book more.
  • Me
    I was sent this book free of charge in return for an honest review. This is a quick and interesting read even if you are not familiar with the work of Lucia Berlin. She lived an unpredictable life for many years and this is reflected in her journals and letters. I was fascinated with how her lifestyle changed from what appeared to be year to year. This is also a historical perspective on different geographical locations and the culture of the tim...
  • Autumn
    It was a little too short, but so it goes.
  • Erin Duffey
    Wow. I knew nothing of Lucia before my friend stayed in bed for 3 hours, fell asleep and woke up to my ringing her doorbell. Loved learning about her life before reading her stories. Fantastic
  • Rebecca
    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.
  • Emily
    I received an advanced readers copy of this book as part of Goodreads Giveaway.I hate to admit that this is the first Lucia Berlin book I've read. I can see why she's beloved. Her narration had me feeling like I was sitting at her kitchen table while she puttered around the kitchen telling me stories from her life. There was a sense that her life involved constantly looking for a home and never really finding satisfaction and yet remaining happy ...
  • Hal
    To be clear, the writing in her stories is much more beautiful and enjoyable, mostly because she's so brief and matter-of-fact in this one. For example, the one page she devotes to her first boyfriend in this book becomes the moving ten-page story "Dear Conchi". Still, it's enlightening to learn the facts of her life. So when we read the line in "Tiger Bites" where the narrator's friend is trying to convince her to get an abortion: "you'll have a...
  • Madhusree
    Very short book rearranged posthumously but full of the life of Lucia Berlin. An engaging read that made me want more. An amazing writer.
  • Jill Blevins
    Who doesn't want to read someone's letters, especially when those letters were written in the 1950's and 1960's by a teenager who has everything the world could give her except love, a regular family, and a steady home? It's like reading Joan Didion but without the East Coast attitude.As someone who moved 47 times with her first husband, I was attracted to this book by the amazing amount of times the author herself has moved house. The first sect...
  • Brooklyn Tayla
    I received a copy of this book from Pan Macmillian Australia in exchange for an honest review all thoughts are my own.I feel like if I had known about Lucia Berlin before reading this book that I would have maybe appreciated this more, I mean, when I started reading this, not really knowing anything about the author or her books, I didnt know what to expect, and I personally found that I felt like I was reading not so much a memoir but a string ...
  • Eric
    I didn't know what to expect with this one. Welcome Home was pretty much a collection of pictures, recollections from an unpublished memoir(?) documenting her childhood up to her 30's, as well as letters to and from Lucia. Much like A Manual for Cleaning Women, I enjoyed this a lot. Berlin's writing style is so appealing to me because it's Kerouacian (if I may?), yet very feminine. She has a knack for saying a lot using simple words or not many w...
  • Sabrina Chapadjiev
    This was my introduction to Lucia Berlin.The narrative portraits of where she lived and when, which make up half of the book, were incredibly poignant, gorgeous and evocative. They truly paint a picture of this interesting artists and the life she lived.The second half - which include letters home and to those she loved is way less interesting. It was edited by her sons, who obviously have a vested interest in her every syllable. However, as some...
  • Laura
    I wanted to love this more, and I feel like I may get more out of it after reading some more of Lucia Berlin's work. Really liked the first half of diary entries but the letters in the second half got a bit muddled and long for me. However, Berlin's wonderful writing and personality shine through. A personal favourite couple of lines was: "The last night there was sort of a nightmare which would take 40 pages to describe. Briefly, i got arrested ...
  • Lorri Steinbacher
    So interesting to describe your life through memories of the places where you lived it. That you know that it is unfinished going in doesn't make you any less hard when it does. When it left off, even though I knew I would be able to piece together what was next, I knew that it would not be in Berlin's unique voice.
  • rebecca
    Any and all insight into Lucias many homes, thoughts, and feelings is a support to understanding her short stories. I finished wanting more, but am acutely aware that she passed before finishing the memoir section. The photos were great, as were the letters. The photos reach far back to the beginning of her life, the letters are mostly to the Dorns, who she met in NM and kept in touch with.Loved sorting through some cryptic lines and also observi...
  • Silvana
    The memoir part was wonderful, very charming - the letters not so much. A little too disjointed, but then maybe that's only logical since this book was published posthumously and was never really 'finished'.
  • marlise
    Short and sweet. Enjoyed the memoir more than the letters. Also, the cover is a very nice shade of yellow.
  • Yasmin
    Half unfinished memoir, half letters. Liked the memoir part, the letters not so much. It feels unfinished, probably because it is.
  • Abby Byers
    Five stars for the first half! Didnt feel great about the letters. Five stars for the first half! Didn’t feel great about the letters.
  • A
    A look into Lucia Berlin's early life (to 1965) through her own writing, family photographs, and letters. There are many beautiful passages when she describes experiences and being outside, especially in the small plane that Buddy Berlin would take them up to fly during the sunsets. What a wonderful idea.
  • Douglas
    I don't know how you could appreciate this slim volume if you haven't read "cleaning women", or were lucky enough to have one of her earlier out of print selections. This is a small assemblage of an autobiography work in progress, and selected letters. They do help a fan (like me) figure out what was true and what was fiction in her incredible short stories.A very interesting life. I miss her.