Friday, April 16, 2010

Tinkers Wins Pulitzer

The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction this year goes to Paul Harding for Tinkers. According to The New York Times its :
... 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.
And the runners up were Love in Infant Monkeys by Lydia Millet : imaginative collection of linked stories, often describing a memorable encounter between a famous person and an animal, underscoring the human folly of longing for significance while chasing trifles ...
and In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin:
... a collection of beautifully crafted stories that exposes the Western reader to the hopes, dreams and dramas of an array of characters in feudal Pakistan, resulting in both an aesthetic and cultural achievement.
You can read about the recipients of the award in the different categories on the Pulitzer website. (And its great to see Hank Williams getting a special citation, isn't it?)

Postscript :

Tinkers has been acclaimed one of the strongest debut American novels, and it is heartwarming to learn that it was published by a small press. The Bellevue Press site has an impressive collection of  quotes about the book from a range of newspapers. There's also a very good interview with the author (dating from last year) on the Bookslut blog and you can read an extract from the novelhere.
In the comments Chet mentions a very interesting post by Ginny Wiehardt about the lessons we can learn from this winner. I was particularly intrigued by his writing process. He says he wrote episodes and then "collaged" them together:
I don't write the book in any order, I just literally wake up and write about whatever immediately strikes me as interesting. Usually I'm wondering, I have a question about something. 'What does she think at that point?' Or, 'What does he do?' . . . And I just start writing. Eventually, I have to have faith in the process, it happened with Tinkers so I'm hoping it will happen again, eventually everything ends up overlapping.
This is definitely a novel I must read.

I must say though the pallid cover does the book no favours on the internet - it looks completely washed out, doesn't it? Lucky though the book buyer who holds a first edition hardback copy of the book - prices are climbing.


Chet said...

This is an interesting article about how the author wrote the book, and various other writing and book related stuff:

Lessons from the 2010 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novel

Altho there is a glaring typo in the first line of the article itself.

Au and Target said...

What's your fave Pulitzer prize book, Sharon?

bibliobibuli said...

thnaks Chet, yes more needs to be told here.

Au and Target - you mean my favourite of all time? probably "the road" by cormac mccarthy although i loved "the mambo kings play songs of love" by oscar hijuelos and "the brief wondrous life of oscar wau" by junot dias.

gnute said...

I read the excerpt of Tinkers on the Guardian website & it is intriguing. I think I will get this book!

Chet said...

Interesting article on the NPR site about how the book got accepted, and then nominated for the Pulitzer.

"Eventually Tinkers had gotten enough attention in literary circles that the Pulitzer committee called Goldman and asked her to submit it for the award. But neither she nor Harding ever expected it to win."

Apparently, Paul Harding found out he'd won by checking the Pulitzer site.

"And I kept refreshing and it just kept coming up Tinkers, Tinkers, Tinkers."