"This compact, adamantine dÃ©but dips in and out of the consciousness of a New England patriarch named George Washington Crosby as he lies dying on a hospital bed in his living room, â€˜right where they put the dining room table, fitted with its two extra leaves for holiday dinners'â€¦In Harding's skillful evocation, Crosby's life, seen from its final moments, becomes a mosaic of memories, â€˜showing him a different self every time he tried to make an assessment.'"—The New Yorker
"Harding's interest is in the universalities: nature and time and the murky character of memoryâ€¦The small, important recollections are rendered with an exactitude that is poeticâ€¦Harding's prose is lyrical and specific...Tinkers is a poignant exploration of where we may journey when the clock has barely a tick or two left and we really can't go anywhere at all."—The Boston Globe
"At only a very brief 192 pages, it still packs an emotional punch that books of three times its length often lack. It's a novel that you'll want to savor for its stunning yet economical use of language, for its descriptions of nature, of illness and health, and for its profound understanding of humanity's deepest needs and desires for family and home. I found reading it to be an incredibly moving experience, yet Harding is in such control of his material that it never devolves into mushiness or becomes maudlin."—Nancy Pearl
"Tinkers is truly remarkableâ€¦ It confers on the reader the best privilege fiction can afford, the illusion of ghostly proximity to other human souls."—Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Home and Gilead
"In astounding language sometimes seemingly struck by lightning, sometimes as tight and complicated as clockwork, Harding shows how enormous fiction can be, and how economical. Read this book and marvel."—Elizabeth McCracken, author of Niagara Falls All Over Again
"Tinkers is a remarkable piece of workâ€¦fascinating—and sometimes horrific—to read, and is cumulatively moving because it is woven together into the single quilt of our humanity."—Barry Unsworth, Booker Prize–winning author of The Ruby in Her Navel
An old man 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.
Paul Harding has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and teaches creative writing at Harvard. He lives in Georgetown, Massachusetts.