Tinkers, by Paul Harding
This quietly beautiful book centers around the deathbed of George Crosby, a remarkable, unremarkable old man. As the life fades from this modern Yankee, his mind opens in cascading fragments of his present and past—and the pasts of his father and grandfather.
An examination of family, beauty and ecstasy, this novel is as intricate and well-balanced as the antique clocks George repaired. Like George’s workshop, where precisely ordered bits are surrounded by nostalgic clutter that threatens to overwhelm with both chaos and loveliness, the writing is a very American, Transcendentalist-informed style that echoes Joyce and Woolf, the stream of consciousness in this case flowing through deep, dark Maine woods.
Tinkers is full of poetic prose, large notions, and gorgeous moments; it takes the reader on an intensely meditative mind-expanding journey exploring memory, tragedy and bliss. That’s why it won the Pulitzer Prize in 2010, and why you should consider reading it.