Paul Harding was virtually unknown in literary circles when he won the Pulitzer Prize in 2010 for his debut novel, “Tinkers.”
It was an unlikely, somewhat startling choice for one of America’s top literary prizes, because “Tinkers” was published by the small Bellevue Literary Press and didn’t even get a review upon its 2009 publication from the New York Times, arguably the most comprehensive weekly books section in the nation. When “Tinkers” was published, Harding was in his early 40s, and was a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, but he spent most of his early career as a drummer for the defunct Boston band Cold Water Flat.
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