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Harding wins Pulitzer

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 13, 2010 7:30 AM

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Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate and current visiting Assistant Professor Paul Harding won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Monday for his novel, Tinkers.

Harding, who graduated from the Writers’ Workshop in 2000 and teaches at Harvard, is a visiting faculty member in the Workshop. Tinkers was published in 2009 through a smaller publisher, Bellevue Literary Press.

Paul Ingram, the Prairie Lights book buyer, said this is a victory for small publishers everywhere.

“It’s a book of extraordinary care and value,” he said. “This kind of stuff doesn’t get considered very often. I’m very proud of the small-press community in America. For years, they have been publishing books that the major publishers are afraid to publish, and this, I believe, is one of those.”

Ingram describes the book as a stream of consciousness. It centers on old man, George Washington Crosby, a watchmaker, alone in his bed, revealing his final thoughts, memories, and ideas.

Tinkers was looked as at a bit of a dark horse compared with the other two finalists, Love in Infant Monkeys, by Lydia Millet, and In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, by Daniyal Mueenuddin, with the others receiving much more press than Tinkers.

“I hope that people just read the book and said this is best one, because it is,” Ingram said. “It’s like magic.”

— by Eric Sundermann

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