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About the Author: Richard Burgin

Richard Burgin’s stories have won five Pushcart Prizes and been reprinted in numerous anthologies including The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction, The Best American Mystery Stories, and New Jersey Noir (edited by Joyce Carol Oates). He is the author is 16 books including two novels, “Rivers Last Longer” and “Ghost Quartet,” eight collections of short fiction, as well as the interview books “Conversations with Jorge Louis Borges” and “Conversations with Isaac Bashevis Singer.” His book The Identity Club: New and Selected Stories was listed as one of The Best Books of 2006 by The Times Literary Supplement and as one of the 40 Best Books of Fiction of the last decade by The Huffington Post. Other books have been listed as Notable Books of the Year by The St. Louis Post Dispatch and three times by The Philadelphia Inquirer. In France a Richard Burgin reader, L’Ecume Des Flammes was published in 2011, which received a rave review in Le Monde. He is the founder and current editor of the literary magazine Boulevard.


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Find the best price forThe Conference on Beautiful Moments

Goodreads rating: 3.92

Hardcover, Published in Nov 2006 by Johns Hopkins University Press

ISBN10: 0801885183 | ISBN13: 9780801885181

Page count: 192

The Chicago Tribune has called Richard Burgin "among our finest artists of love at its most desperate," a critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer dubbed him "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." Through an extraordinarily vivid and variegated set of characters, The Conference on Beautiful Moments, Burgin’s sixth collection of stories, continues his daringly dark yet often humorous exploration of these themes, as well as our mysterious quest for truth, success, and identity.

In the gently satiric "Jonathan and Lillian," a movie star throws a dinner party with very different meanings for her biographer, her butler and ex-lover, and herself. In "Cruise," an aging straight man befriends a young gay man. Together they meet on their cruise ship’s deck to confess to each other "the worst thing they have ever done." In the title story, a journalist sent to investigate a conference formerly devoted to discussing beauty in the arts discovers it has turned into something considerably more sinister.

In The Conference on Beautiful Moments, Burgin writes with equal compassion and insight about the homeless and the wealthy, prostitutes and businessmen, an autistic child and an art forger. His characters are masterfully illuminated by their interior narratives, which burst sharply into conversations at once intimate and calculated.

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