Don't Think
Stories By Richard Burgin

The Conference on Beautiful Moments (2006)

John Hopkins University Press
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'Burgin skates along the edge of realism and dark fantasy in fiction so supremely well made that all manner of fancy and menace is readily ingested.'

'Burgin is the poet laureate of loneliness and longing, writing economically, with humor and exquisite attention to interior monologues.'
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Five-time Pushcart Prize Winner richard burgin's New and Selected Stories A Thousand Natural Shocks 
The Identity Club (2005)

Ontario Review Press
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'Burgin is eloquent...he's a brillant story-teller...masterly in his exploration of the mysteries and tensions of relationships.'
St. Petersburg Times

'A compelling vision of contemporary America'
The San Francisco Chronicle

'Entrancing stories...tremendous insight.'
The Chicago Tribune
The Spirit Returns (2001)

John Hopkins University Press
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'Richard Burgin's fourth book of short fiction solidifies his reputation as one of America's most distinctive storytellers...I can think of no one else of his generation who reports the contemporary war between the sexes with more devastating wit and accuracy.'
The Philadelphia Inquirer

'LIfe is a painful beauty, of course, and Richard Burgin is a master of showing us just how sad and happy we might be.'
American Book Review
Ghost Quartet (1999)

Northwestern University Press
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'Burgin's steady and strong writing brings the story to a magnificent climax. . . . Never didactic and never failing to sustain a most suspenseful story, Burgin pressures these characters for all they're worth. Ghost Quartet is a compelling story that demands contemplation.' 
Harvard Review 

'A narrative of extraordinary power and poignancy.'
The Bloomsbury Review
Fear of Blue Skies (1998)

John Hopkins University Press
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'The 11 tightly controlled stories in Richard Burgin’s third collection, Fear of Blue Skies, present characters of such variety that no generalizations about them can apply. Throughout this arresting volume, Burgin is sensitive to the infinite brands of human error . . . as well as to our rare redemptive moments of resilience and understanding.' 
The New York Times Book Review

Private Fame (1991)

University of Illinois Press
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'Mr. Burgin has given expression to a chorus of alientated voices too haunting to be easily forgotten.'
The New York Times Book Review

'Finely balanced fictions...Masterly...Private Fame offers a thrill ride for anyone willing to explore the dark alleyways of the modern American psyche.'
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Man without Memory (1989)

University of Illinois Press
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'Burgin subtly covers the spectrum of contemporary situations. Man without Memory astutely probes the terror of the psyche.'
The Washington Post

'Burgin has his finger on the pulse of his times...this is an impressive group of stories.'
The Philadelphia Inquirer

'If his literary career ended today, Richard Burgin would certainly be ranked in the top tier of American short story writers...The Conference on Beautiful Moments offers some of his best writing...enjoy yet another strong collection by a master practioner of the short story.'
The Pedestal Magazine
'This is a work Chekhov could appreciate.'
The Review of Contemporary Fiction
"Burgin's original technique makes each story compelling."  --The Seattle Times

"Compared to the mainstream fiction that surrounds it on the bookshelves, The Identity Club is like a bullet casing lodged in a Hallmark display. You feel compelled to examine its dangerous beauty...The Identity Club also boasts a CD of 20 songs...A blend of jazz, pop, and classical [the enclosed CD] Don't Go There will surprise you with its sweeping melodies and sly lyrics." --Las Vegas City Life
Stories and Dream Boxes (2002)
with illustrations by Gloria Vanderbilt

Out of print, contact author for copies.

'Richard Burgin is the king of bad behavior... like Patricia Highsmith's or Paul Bowles', Burgin's tremendous gift is his ability to portray perversity and guilt with a disarmingly subtle touch... Gloria Vanderbilt provides some stunning images, complementing Burgin's horrific stories nicely' 

'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
'Unfailingly believable, sometimes beautiful...we're left to marvel at Burgin's unflinching revelations.'
Boston 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, and his well-crafted stories have won four Pushcart Prizes.'
The Chicago Tribune
'This is a rich story, nastily honest and impressively balanced by a writer who has mastered his craft.'
The San Francisco Sunday Examiner a Chronicle Book Review

'Ghost Quartet is a pageturner--first because Burgin knows how to pace a plot and, second, because his protagonists' interior monologues are so interesting in their own right...I cannot think of a recent novel that provides a more nuanced, morally charged account of the struggles that cutting-edge composers have with their music as well as with their often complicated personal lives.'
The Philadelphia Inquirer
'Masterfully written...his wisest and deepest work so far.'
The St. Petersburg Times

"Fear of Blue Skies has a powerful, cumulative effect, like watching a movie with a slow beginning that you suddenly realize has mesmerized you.'
The Chicago Tribune

'One of the most stimulating practicioners of the form'
The Philadelphia Inquirer
'...his tales are never sedate nor prettified. While his protagonists' existences twist to extremes, they remain surprisingly and uncomfortably valid.'
Publishers Weekly
'Opening this book is like stepping into quicksand. Richard Burgin's ingenius tales are disconcerting from the word go.'
The Los Angeles Times

'Man without Memory is a classic waiting to happen.'
The St. Petersburg Times

'Richard Burgin, who edits the estimable quarterly Boulevard, is emerging as one of our most original story-writers.'
The Southern Review
Jorge Luis Borges: Conversations (1988)
Edited by Richard Burgin

University of Mississippi Press
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'Genius stood behind Borges' talent, as evidenced in every interview collected here. Any one interviewer can only hope to break the surface of Borges' labyrinthine mind, but in a series of interviews, with, as it happens here, so little duplication of questioning, much more depth and dimension can be illuminated.'
Brad Hooper, Booklist
Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges (1968)

Holt, Rinehart and Winston
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'An extraordinary portrait of a witty, learned, even humble ideal introduction to the man's work...a joy in and of itself.'
The New York Times

'A delightful compendium of Borges' views...and the fascinating engaging portrait of the man.'
Harper's Magazine

The Man With Missing Parts (1973)

reprinted by Alexander Street Press
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'The Man With Missing Parts indicates that the small press, a new generation and a dazzle of talent can still cause miracles...The book in our hands, in all its lightness and grace and imagination becomes not a didactic affirmation which the clumsy realism of the commercial novel must produce, but that genuine rarity a work of literature.'
The Boston Globe
Conversations with Isaac Bashevis Singer (1978)

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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'The honesty is a joy and the insights are copious...I suspect that for many years this will be one of the definitive books on Singer.'
Sacramento Bee

'For anyone interested in literature, the art of writing, religion or love, this book is an engrossing delight.'
People Magazine

'An engrossing and inspiring book.'
Los Angeles Times
'Reading these Conversations is like spending a wonderfully long afternoon with a truly great writer.'
Library Journal
'These question-and-answer conversations constitute a rich and interesting little book, not just because it sheds light on the craft that earned Singer a Nobel Prize, but in itself. Speaking with the independent-mindedness that characterizes his stories, Singer dilates on a wide variety of topics that include literature, philosophy, religion, sex and marriage, America, Jewishness, vegetarianism and heroic suicide.'
Publishers Weekly
'An entertaining writer may not be an entertaining talker, or even a particularly attractive person, but Borges is all three. We owe this discovery to the enterprising Mr. Burgin.'
The New Yorker

'An engrossing and inspiring book.'
Los Angeles Times

'A joy to read book!'
Publisher's Weekly

'It is to Burgin's credit that this book is so charming, so full of his warm admiration for a literary idol...Burgin holds his own with Borges: Some of the nicest interchages in the book are those in which the master learns from his student.'
Partisan Review

'Not only is this collection of coversations with Borges a wonderful introduction to his world, but it is also a Borgesian enterprise in itself, a labryinth of past dialogues that still echo in these pages.'
St. Louis Post Dispatch
L' Ecume Des Flammes 
(Scum of the Flames) (February 2011)

13e Note Editions
Translator: William Rebellion

'Here is a book that will take you into a dangerous area, the pages and images to high voltage. There is somethign totally electrifying--even addictive--in the writing of Richard Burgin.'
Le Monde

Read a review of L'Ecume des Flammes (Foam of the Flames), a Richard Burgin Reader, in Le Monde
Burgin covers topics such as prostitution, incest, drugs, memories of a childhood trauma or idealized, varying approaches and perspectives, but never imposed morality. It happens to exhibit the most troubling tendencies of human nature. Eric Miles Williamson described his prose as 'astonishing' and states: 'Sentence by sentence, his prose is of great calm, great discretion, to a large class. However, while what appears on the surface of the text seems hushed, muted - as if the author put a little aside to avoid attracting attention to himself - the stories, they are far from unnoticed and remain indifferent.' Foam of the Flames gathers texts that may be dark, rather Kafkaesque, but will keep you spellbound by their genuine feeling.
Hide Island: A Novella and Nine Stories
'The opposing frameworks blend beautifully, and allow Burgin to rift from multiple vantage points and in various styles, as he reimagines the thriller in the most literary of voices. Rivers Last Longer is that unique kind of book that stuns you with both language and story.''
Dark Sky Magazine
'Burgin is the master of personal apocalypse and his literary landscape flawlessly mirrors contemporary life.'
Front Porch Journal
'Rivers Last Longer is Burgin's fourteenth book, his second novel and the story is a reckless delight.'
'A brilliant and dread-inducing novel. Rivers Last Longer engages, fascinates and appalls, lightened midway with deftly timed satires of our celebrity-besotted culture.' 
American Book Review
Rivers Last Longer, Richard Burgin's second novel, is a harrowing examination of a most weird folie a deux. One half of the deux, Barry, is among the creepiest of characters, a literary first cousin to Charles Anthonly Bruno in Patriciia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train. ...Burgin, founder and editor of Boulevard magazine and winner of five Pushcart Prizes for his short fiction has packed more into this novel's 215 pages than you can find in many more books twice that length. There are, for instance, the acidic takes on New York's artsy-craftsy social set."
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Read a review of Rivers Last Longer in the San Antonio Express-News
Read a review of Rivers Last Longer in Per Contra.
Read a review of Rivers Last Longer in The Pedestal Magazine.
lRead a review of Rivers Last Longer in Front Porch Journal.
Read the Booklist review of Rivers Last Longer.
Read a new review of Rivers Last Longer in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Read a new review of Burgin's forthcoming novel, Rivers Last Longer, 
in Broad Street Review.
Read a review of Rivers Last Longer by Floyd Skloot on
Read a new review and interview in Dark Sky Magazine. ck here to add text.

THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW“The motley psyches in Mr. Burgin’s gallery expose themselves in eerily funny monologues. . . But it is not their strangeness alone that fascinates . . . Rather, it is the way they twist  messages from a saner world to fit their peculiar neuroses. And that is why Mr. Burgin’s stories are so dexterous. In them, he has paused near a border, shifting his weight nervously, sizing up the wild, surrealistic  landscape that lies just a few paces ahead.” 
LE MONDE “Here is a book that will take you into a dangerous area, the pages and images to high voltage. There is something totally electrifying — even addictive — in the writing of Richard Burgin.” 
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE"Without showiness or fuss, Burgin writers gorgeous evocative prose...A writer at once elegant and disturbing, Burgin is among our fines artist of love at its most desperate." THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: "One of America's most distinctive storytellers...I can think of no one of his generation who reports 
the contemporary war between the sesxes with more devastating wit and accuracy."  THE ST. PETERSBURG TIMES"Burgin is eloquent...he's a brilliant storyteller...masterly in his exploration of the mysteries and tensions of relationships."  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY"Burgin writes crisp and intelligent dialogue and description and he handles disconcerting situations with deadpan ease...his characters--alone, alientated, dissolute and desperate--come alive on the page." THE BOSTON GLOBE"Richard Burgin's tales capture the strangeness of a world that is siimultaneously frightening and reassuring, and in the contemporary American short story nothing quite resembles his singular voice."k here to add text.
ISBN: 978-1-937875-22-0
Order from Texas A&M University Press Consortium:800-826-8911

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"One of our favorite books of 2011." - St. Louis Post Dispatch
Shadow Traffic
PRAISE FOR Shadow Traffic:

 "A true narrative virtuoso, Burgin never ceases to amaze with his ability
to move effortlessly through different plot devices and perspectives...
These many strengths, coupled with his consideration of the gothic 
tradition make Burgin's story collections such as Shadow Traffic so 
magnificently sinister...Burgin's ability to find the beautiful within the 
ominous is what makes him a great writer."
“Darkly captivating stories . . . Burgin deftly explores his characters’ 
most sacredly held fears with a tenderness that makes the reader exalt 
in their small triumphs. Burgin deftly exposes his character’s most 
sacredly held fears with a tenderness that makes the reader exalt in 
their small triumphs. Burgin shows admirable range in this collection, 
which is hugely varied in both style and form, and while there are clear 
standouts, there’s not a single throwaway.”
“One of the most anticipated books of fall 2011 . . . [Burgin] is 
certainly one of our best short story writers. The Conference on 
Beautiful Moments was one of the best story collections of recent 
years and Shadow Traffic is more than a worthy successor.”
“Richard Burgin’s collection Shadow Traffic is a shockingly splendid 
example of psychological noir. In my opinion no contemporary writer 
of the short story creates better characters than Richard Burgin.”
“Remarkably diverse stories . . . each of these astounding tales 
resonates in a unique way.”
“Burgin continues to have his fingers on the pulse of modern experience 
as do few others, and Shadow Traffic shows him at the top of his form, 
refining a vision that, story by story and volume by volume, has made 
him a master of contemporary short fiction.”
"Burgin has an instictive feel for the things in everyday life that are just 
a little bit's in moments like these that Burgin really shines."
"A particular form of praise already accorded to other writers might carry 
the present review to the threshold of triteness. We must nevertheless apply 
it to Burgin. HIs stories read us."
"Finishing Richard Burgin's Shadow Traffic leaves one with the impression 
there is yet another great writer out there to humble you when you sit down 
to write. Which is as it should be. Burgin's writing at the top of his powers.".
Read Anis Shivani's review of Shadow Traffic, one of "The Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2011" in the Huffington Post.

Read the Publishers Weekly review of Richard Burgin's new collection of stories Shadow Traffic (due out in October 2011). 

Read a review of Shadow Traffic in Per Contra

Read a review of Shadow Traffic by Joseph Peschel in the Saint Louis Post Dispatch 

Read a review of Richard Burgin's newest collection, Shadow Traffic, by Robert Zaller in Broad Street Review

Read a review of Shadow Traffic in

Read a review of Shadow Traffic in The Potomac

Read a review of Shadow Traffic in Industrial Worker Book Review
Read a review of Hide Island in PerContra

Read a review of Hide Island in Texas Observer

Read an interview with Richard Burgin The American Literary Review

Read a review of Hide Island in Broad Street Review

Review and Interview in Prime Number

Read review of Hide Island in Literary Aficionado 

Read about Hide Island in Missouri Life
"Richard Burgin possesses that rare gift to create a full novel in but a few pages; the idea, the arc, the denouement, the resolution are all intact, just so incredibly compressed and succinct that when the read finally takes a breath at the end of each of these beautifully sculpted stories that first aftershock is to utter ‘More, please.’"
-Literary Aficionado
Named one of the "Best Books: 2013" by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
PRAISE FOR Hide Island:

Burgin [in Hide Island] is an absolute master of this type of
story...the kind that shows us the clockwork of a madman’s a present day Robert Louis Stevenson whose monsters are mysterious even to themselves. Plus he can be funny.”
"Hide Island, Richard Burgin's sixteenth book and eighth collection of stories, is a brilliant offering, outstanding even in the context of his previous work, which has earned a well-deserved reputation for masterful, darkly comic forays into contemporary angst and the human condition."
"...a prolific writer of smart, literary fiction—particularly short stories, of which he is an undisputed master."
​"...every piece in Hide Island enhances the next, with the attention to quality one has come to expect from a true master of the genre, and one of a very select few writers who, over time, has managed to stay consistently true to himself while advancing the art of fiction."
"Burgin writes some of the most dangerous short fiction being published today, as Hide Island: A Novella and Nine Stories—his newest collection, and ninth overall—demonstrates. These stories are dangerous because they force readers to question ordinary ethical behavior and the boundaries between transgressors and victims...There is an undertone of a radical political critique here, an ardent nihilism that is all the more lovely for its ring of unshakeable truth." 

PRAISE FOR    Don't Think:

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.


Click Here for Philadelphia review

But there’s nothing inauthentic about the emotions involved and the situations that Burgin’s characters find themselves in. Despite the variety of their situations, they reflect universal truths, skillfully expressed. “Don’t Think” adds to Burgin’s impressive collection of stories over a long, distinguished career. Don’t think about skipping it.


Click Here for St. Louis Post-Dispatch review

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.


Click here for American Microreviews review
From Goliad press, the definitive collection of Richard Burgin's acclaimed fiction. A Thousand Natural Shocks contains two dozen of Burgin's best stories in addition to new work. 

"The 25 stories gathered in A Thousand Natural Shocks provide ample evidence that Burgin deserves to be numbered among the masters of the short story.” -THE HOPKINS REVIEW  

"Burgin's stories are far more elegant, imaginative, and profound." - THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER 

“Eerily funny...dextrous...too haunting to be easily forgotten...characters of such variety that no generalization about them can apply.” -THE NEW YORK TIMES 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.”

“Burgin's abilityto find the beautiful within the ominous
is what makes him a great writer.” 

Review copies & interviews:
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