... 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 :
...an 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?)
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.