Paul Harding wins 2010 Pulitzer Prize

Paul Harding

Paul Harding, a University of Iowa alumnus and currently a visiting faculty member in the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction. Harding was honored for his debut novel, "Tinkers." Harding graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2000 and is a visiting faculty member for the spring semester.

The Pulitzer Prizes were announced on Monday, April 12.

A starred review in Publishers Weekly commented, "Harding's outstanding debut unfurls the history and final thoughts of a dying grandfather surrounded by his family in his New England home. George Washington Crosby repairs clocks for a living and on his deathbed revisits his turbulent childhood as the oldest son of an epileptic smalltime traveling salesman. The descriptions of the father's epilepsy and the cold halo of chemical electricity that encircled him immediately before he was struck by a full seizure are stunning, and the household's sadness permeates the narrative as George returns to more melancholy scenes.

"The real star is Harding's language, which dazzles whether he's describing the workings of clocks, sensory images of nature, the many engaging side characters who populate the book, or even a short passage on how to build a bird nest. This is an especially gorgeous example of novelistic craftsmanship."

The Pulitzer judges praised the book as "a powerful celebration of life in which a New England father and son, through suffering and joy, transcend their imprisoning lives and offer new ways of perceiving the world and mortality." Read more...

Listen >> Paul Harding reading | Prairie Lights Bookstore | Feb. 18, 2009