“Edgar Allan Poe wrote that every word in a short story should contribute to the effect of the whole. Very few American short-story writers have met this standard, and even fewer novelists have managed the feat: perhaps Hemingway, maybe Marilynne Robinson, Roth in Portnoy's Complaint, Updike in Rabbit, Run. It's a rare thing indeed, but Cooper keeps their company.”
“Cooper combines philosophical reflection with a rural setting, working-class characters, an engaging storyline, and vernacular to create a rare, pleasurable experience for the reader. . . . a lesson in what a good novel of ideas can and should achieve aesthetically.”
American Book Review
“Ron Cooper has his own unique voice, and what a marvelous, darkly comic voice it is. He is an immensely talented writer.”
Ron Rash, author of The Risen and Serena
“Cooper is a superb writer, and a daring one too.”
Steve Yarbrough, author of The Unmade World and
The Realm of Last Chances
“A prose style that snaps like garters.”
Fred Chappell, author of I am One of You Forever and
Look back All the Green valley
“The writing is antic, smart, and memorable.”
Jay Parini, author of The Last Station and
The Passages of H. M.
Praise for Richard Burgin
'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.'
The New York Times Book Review
'One of America's most distinctive storytellers...I can think of no one of his genertation who reports the contemporary war between the sexes with more devastating wit and accuracy.'
The Philadelphia Inquirer
'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.'
The Chicago Tribune
'There is something electrifying, even addictive, in the writing of Richard Burgin."
Richard Burgin is a fiction writer, editor, composer, critic and teacher. Born in Brookline, Massachusetts he graduated from Brandeis University and received advanced degrees from Columbia in New York. Burgin is the author of 20 books, including A Thousand Natural Shocks (Goliad Press, April 2018) as well as the novels Hide Island (2013), Rivers Last Longer (2010) and Ghost Quartet (l999), and the short story collections The Spirit Returns (2001), Fear of Blue Skies (l998), Private Fame (1991), and Man Without Memory (l989). The latter three books were each listed as a Notable Book of the Year by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Johns Hopkins University Press published Richard's story collections, Shadow Traffic and The Conference on Beautiful Moments (2007). His book, The Identity Club: New and Selected Stories and Songs, was listed in The Times Literary Supplement as one of the best books of 2006 and was listed in The Huffington Post as one of the 40 best books of fiction in the last decade. The Identity Club also includes a CD of his musical compositions. Burgin’s stories have won five Pushcart Prizes and 15 others have been listed by that prestigious anthology as being among the year’s best.The title story of The Identity Club was also reprinted in Best American Mystery Stories 2005 and The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction (published by Harper Perennial 2008) edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Other stories have been reprinted in the anthologies New Jersey Noir (Akashic Books), New Stories from the Midwest, The Best of Witness and As the Story Goes: Twenty Five Years of the Johns Hopkins Short Fiction Series, among others.