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Book Cover for: Don't Think, Richard Burgin

Don't Think

Richard Burgin

A dazzling collection of short stories from renowned writer Richard Burgin.

Five-time Pushcart Prize winner Richard Burgin's stories have been praised by the New York Times Book Review as "eerily funny, dexterous, and too haunting to be easily forgotten," with "characters of such variety that no generalizations about them can apply." In Don't Think, his ninth collection of short fiction, Burgin offers us his most daring and imaginatively varied work to date. The stories explore universal themes of love, family, and time, examining relationships and memory--both often troubled, fragmented, and pieced back together only when shared between characters.
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In the title story, written in propulsive, musical prose, a divorced father struggles to cling to reality through his searing love for his highly imaginative son, who has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. In "Of Course He Wanted to Be Remembered," two young women meet to commemorate the death of a former college professor with whom they were both unusually close--though in very different ways. In "V.I.N.," a charismatic drug dealer tries to gain control of a bizarre cult devoted to rethinking life's meaning in relation to infinite time, while in "The Intruder," an elderly art dealer befriends a homeless young woman who has been sleeping in his basement.

Together, the nine stories in Don't Think illuminate the astonishing fact of existence itself while justifying the Philadelphia Inquirer's assessment that Burgin is one of America's most distinctive storytellers.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publish Date: May 1st, 2016
  • Pages: 184
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 8.40in - 5.40in - 0.50in - 0.50lb
  • EAN: 9781421419718
  • Recommended age: 18-UP
  • Categories: Short Stories (single author)Literary

About the Author

Burgin, Richard: - Richard Burgin is the author of 11 previous books, including The Spirit Returns, Fear of Blue Skies, and the novel Ghost Quartet. Three of his books were named Notable Books of the Year by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Burgin recently won his fifth Pushcart Prize, and he has had 15 other stories listed by the Pushcart Prize anthology as being among the year's best in previous years. He is both founder and editor of the internationally distributed and award-winning literary journal Boulevard and a professor of communication and English at St. Louis University.
Praise for this book
Richard Burgin's Don't Think is a quiet masterpiece. It tells us that the bonds we form with people who we find or who find us are what create meaning in our lives, and the memories we carry constantly shape and revise our reality.
--American Microreviews and Interviews
Savagely honest and deeply affecting, it ranks among Burgin's best.
--American Book Review
Without showiness or fuss, Burgin writes gorgeous, evocative prose. A writer at once elegant and disturbing, Burgin is among our finest artists of love at its most desperate.
--Chicago Tribune
Burgin's ability to find the beautiful within the ominous is what makes him a great writer.
--American Book Review
Richard Burgin's Don't Think is a superb book, a remarkable addition to his substantial, impressive oeuvre. The dark, sometimes bizarre, sensibility of his earlier work that once made Joyce Carol Oates compare him to Poe, remains, but it is joined in this volume with a more hopeful side. Together these joined forces make Burgin one of best and most eloquent writers of the American short story . . . Don't Think is another first-rate book on the shelf devoted to Richard Burgin's writing: works that have won him a reputation for masterful, darkly comic forays into contemporary angst and the human condition, ameliorated by acts of kindness and honest love. His is an extraordinary, invaluable voice in contemporary fiction.
--Miriam Kotzin, Per Contra
In the best short-story collections, each successive story builds upon the previous, making the sum greater than the parts. Five-time Pushcart Prize winner Richard Burgin's ninth short-story collection Don't Think succeeds easily in that regard, with tight, thematic links between stories and an impressive tonal range that span from dark, depressing--even gross--to wildly humorous, subtle, and human.
--Brooklyn Rail
Burgin writes crisp and intelligent dialogue and description, and he handles disconcerting situations with deadpan ease . . . His characters--alone, alienated, desolate, and desperate--come alive on the page.
--Publishers Weekly
Burgin is the poet laureate of loneliness and longing, writing economically, with humor and exquisite attention to interior monologues.
--Philadelphia Inquirer
Richard Burgin continues to have his finger on the pulse of modern experience as do few others.
--Broad Street Review
It's not surprising that Burgin has won five Pushcart Prizes for his short stories.
--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Richard Burgin's stories, as this latest collection demonstrates, really aren't like anybody else's . . . Burgin has an uncanny knack for limning how the mind, its thoughts and memories and dreams, shapes experience and identity, and he does it in prose best described as soft-spoken lyricism. It is hardly going out on a limb to say that many of these stories will become classics and that someone someday will coin the adjective Burginesque."
--Philadelphia Inquirer
Burgin gives the reader a lot of darkness, but when he peels it back, what comes into the light is central to what got us reading in the fi rst place, keeps us reading as we grow older, and requires us to have reading in our lives for them to feel complete. You can't really task a collection of short fi ction with more.
--Rain Taxi Review of Books