Join us to celebrate the publication of the deluxe 10th anniversary edition of Tinkers with a conversation between author Paul Harding and Elizabeth McCracken, author of Bowlaway, moderated by Michele Filgate.
Paul Harding's modern classic Tinkers begins with an old man who lies dying. As time collapses into memory, he travels deep into his past, where he is reunited with his father and relives the wonder and pain of his impoverished New England youth. At once heartbreaking and life affirming, Tinkers is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, and the fierce beauty of nature. The story behind this bestselling debut―the first independently published Pulitzer Prize winner since A Confederacy of Dunces nearly thirty years before―is as extraordinary as the prose within it. Inspired by his family’s history, Paul Harding began writing Tinkers when his rock band broke up. Following numerous rejections from large publishers, Harding was about to shelve the manuscript when Bellevue Literary Press offered a contract. After being accepted by BLP, but before it was even published, the novel developed a following among independent booksellers from coast to coast. Readers and critics soon fell in love, and it went on to receive the Pulitzer Prize, prompting the New York Times to declare the novel’s remarkable success “the most dramatic literary Cinderella story of recent memory.”
Paul Harding is the author of two novels about multiple generations of a New England family: Enon and the Pulitzer Prize–winning Tinkers. He teaches at Stony Brook Southampton.
Elizabeth McCracken is the author of five books, Here’s Your Hat What’s Your Hurry (stories), The Giant’s House (a National Book Award finalist), Niagara Falls All Over Again, the memoir An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, and Thunderstruck & Other Stories (winner of the 2014 Story Prize, long-listed for the National Book Award), three of which were New York Times Notable Books. She has received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has served on the faculty at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently holds the James Michener Chair for Fiction at the University of Texas at Austin.
Michele Filgate is a contributing editor at Literary Hub and the editor of an anthology based on her Longreads essay, What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About, forthcoming from Simon & Schuster on April 30, 2019. Currently, she is an M.F.A. student at NYU, where she is the recipient of the Stein Fellowship. Her work has appeared in Longreads, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Refinery29, Slice, The Paris Review Daily, Tin House, Gulf Coast, The Rumpus, and other publications. She teaches creative nonfiction for The Sackett Street Writers' Workshop, Catapult, and Stanford Continuing Studies and is the founder of the Red Ink series.