Stories by Lucia Berlin

Z Space Theater set to produce a new play based on Berlin's stories

Happy Thursday Godine readers! This Throwback Thursday is courtesy of Bay Area author, Lucia Berlin. During her lifetime, Berlin published 77 short stories. These short stories were collected into three volumes and released through Black Sparrow Press: Homesick (1991), So Long (1993), and Where I Live Now (1999).

Now, Z Space Theater in San Francisco will be hosting a production of, “Stories by Lucia Berlin.” The production is brought to us by Word for Word– a San Francisco based theater company that takes literary works verbatim and transforms them into plays. Z Space is one of the nations’ leading theaters for the development and production of new works.

Berlin’s work frequently grapples with the horrors and unexpected lessons of dealing with alcoholism. But even though her work portrays bleak subjects, she manages to impart wisdom and her own brand of dark humor into each story. Berlin spent most of her career in obscurity until recently, when her work found success posthumously. Today, Berlin is praised for her scathing insight into American life.

Of her work, The National Book Review said:

“Lucia Berlin’s stories will be read, anthologized and celebrated in a way that they never were when the author was alive. Popular success can be fickle, and there is no trace of bitterness in these stories– only a brilliant mind grappling with the world around her.”

“Stories by Lucia Berlin,” which will run from February 14th to March 11th, depicts five pieces of Berlin’s work: Her First Detox, Emergency Room Notebook 1977, Unmanageable, 502, and Here It Is Saturday. Z Space writes about the play, “Wry, electric commentary on the dark corners, the everyday, and the oft-overlook. Set to an evocative jazz score, the harrowing stories feature complex women, balancing motherhood, relationships, and a working life.” The play will be directed by Nancy Shelby and JoAnne Winter.

For more information, please visit Z Space’s website!