Join our email listserv and receive monthly updates on the latest titles.

Hopkins Fulfillment Services

Don't Think

, 184 pages
February 2016



Availability Text

Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.

Don't Think



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. 7v6In 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.

Richard Burgin is the founding editor of Boulevard magazine. He is the author of nineteen books, including The Conference on Beautiful Moments and Shadow Traffic.

"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."

"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."

"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."

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

"Richard Burgin continues to have his finger on the pulse of modern experience as do few others."

"It's not surprising that Burgin has won five Pushcart Prizes for his short stories."

"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 ability to find the beautiful within the ominous is what makes him a great writer."

""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.""

"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."

"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."

"Savagely honest and deeply affecting, it ranks among Burgin's best."

Related Links

Related Books