Paul Harding, Tinkers, and Hope for the Soulful

Monday, April 19, 2010

There's a beautiful Motoko Rich story in today's New York Times about Paul Harding, his novel Tinkers, and his path to Pulitzer, which was paved by rejection letters, the assurance (by those in the know) that "nobody wants to read a slow, contemplative, meditative, quiet book," a $1,000 advance by Bellevue Literary Press (who has an "empathetic" reader at the helm), a rare blurb by Marilynne Robinson, Indie book store support (I love independent bookstores!!!!!!!!), and smart critics (go Laura Miller, among others). 

Those writing books about heart and soul, about the ways in which the mind and memory work and about the workings of things must, I always say (I tell myself, when things get blue, and oh, they do get blue) keep going.  Paul Harding gives us cause.  Buy Tinkers.


Becca said...

Speaking as someone who quite enjoys those slow, contemplative, meditative, quiet books," I couldn't be happier to hear there is a new one waiting to be read.

Nor could I be happier that Mr. Harding has been recognized for his work, against all odds it would seem.

Thanks for an uplifting post :)

Jeannine Atkins said...

I loved this story even before I read that Paul Harding went to UMass-Amherst, where I teach. We are all a glow with pride! (deserved or not, but you know, happy with the connection). I have another book to add to my already tall to-be-read-this-summer-I-hope list.

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