Skip to product information
1 of 3

Minor Canon

Lucia Berlin hat

Regular price $23.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $23.00 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Lucia Brown Berlin (1936–2004) was an American short story writer. She had a small, devoted following, but did not reach a mass audience during her lifetime. She rose to sudden literary fame in 2015, eleven years after her death, with the publication of a volume of her selected stories, A Manual for Cleaning Women.

Berlin was born in Juneau, Alaska, and spent her childhood on the move, following her father's career as a mining engineer. The family lived in mining camps in Idaho, Montana, Arizona, El Paso, Texas and Chile, where Lucia spent most of her youth. As an adult, she lived in New Mexico, Mexico, New York City, Northern and Southern California, and Colorado.

Berlin began publishing relatively late in life, under the encouragement and sometimes tutelage of poet Ed Dorn. Her first small collection, Angels Laundromat, was published in 1981, but her published stories were written as early as 1960. She published seventy-six stories in her lifetime. Several of her stories appeared in magazines such as The Atlantic and Saul Bellow's The Noble Savage. Berlin published six collections of short stories, but most of her work can be found in three later volumes from Black Sparrow Books: Homesick: New and Selected Stories (1990), So Long: Stories 1987-92 (1993), and Where I Live Now: Stories 1993-98 (1999).

Throughout her life, Berlin earned a living through a series of working class jobs, reflected in story titles like "A Manual for Cleaning Women," "Emergency Room Notebook, 1977," and "Private Branch Exchange" (referring to telephone switchboards and their operators). Up through the early 1990s, Berlin taught creative writing in a number of venues, including the San Francisco County Jail and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. She also took oral histories from elderly patients at Mt. Zion Hospital.

Lydia Davis wrote of Berlin: "I would place her somewhere in the same arena as Alice Munro, Grace Paley, maybe Tillie Olsen. In common with them, she writes with a guiding intelligent compassion about family, love, work; in a style that is direct, plain, clear, and non-judgmental; with a sense of humor and a gift for the gestures and the words that reveal character, the images that reveal the nature of a place."

The design of this hat is inspired by the cover art for the Black Sparrow edition of Where I Live Now.

• 100% chino cotton twill
• Unstructured, 6-panel, low-profile
• 6 embroidered eyelets
• 3 ⅛” (7.6 cm) crown
• Adjustable strap with antique buckle
• Blank product sourced from Vietnam or Bangladesh