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Paul Harding Reflects on His Pulitzer Prize Winning Novel, Tinkers, 10 Years On

Paul harding
Paul harding
Paul Harding

Paul Harding’s novel, Tinkers, stunned the literary world when it won the Pulitzer Prize. Now, Bellevue Literary Press — the small publishing house that paid Harding a mere $1,000 for it — has issued the 10th anniversary edition and Harding is reflecting on an experience that his writing teacher Marilynne Robinson described as “the American equivalent of a knighthood … Pulitzer Prize–winning author.”

Harding, a faculty member in Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA program in Creative Writing and Literature, looks back at Tinkers and winning publishing’s greatest honor in a post on Literary Hub, “When a Very Small Press Wins a Pulitzer.” In it, Harding talks about handling rejection and the five years between finishing the novel and getting it published, a “wilderness” that “proved to be the time during which I really learned to write.”

Harding was also interviewed by Michele Filgate in Vulture, where he discusses his writing process, the influence of music, and his latest manuscript. He and novelist R.O. Kwan also appear on Literary Hub’s Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast to discuss writing about God and faith.

Harding’s second novel, Elon, was published by Random House in 2013. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the PEN American Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers. In addition to teaching at Stony Brook, he was a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, and has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Harvard University and Grinnell College.

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