Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Harding, a graduate and former teacher at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, will present a free reading at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, in the Frank Conroy Reading Room of the Glenn Schaeffer Library, adjacent to the Dey House.

Harding is best known for his debut novel, Tinkers, which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2010 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, among other honors.

A starred review in Publishers Weekly commented, "Harding's outstanding debut unfurls the history and final thoughts of a dying grandfather surrounded by his family in his New England home. George Washington Crosby repairs clocks for a living and on his deathbed revisits his turbulent childhood as the oldest son of an epileptic smalltime traveling salesman. The descriptions of the father's epilepsy and the cold halo of chemical electricity that encircled him immediately before he was struck by a full seizure are stunning, and the household's sadness permeates the narrative as George returns to more melancholy scenes.

"The real star is Harding's language, which dazzles whether he's describing the workings of clocks, sensory images of nature, the many engaging side characters who populate the book, or even a short passage on how to build a bird nest. This is an especially gorgeous example of novelistic craftsmanship."

Harding received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an Master of Fine Arts from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has taught writing at Harvard University and the UI.

The Iowa Writers’ Workshop is a graduate program in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI events. If you require an accommodation to attend this reading, call the Writers' Workshop at 315-335-0416.

For a UI arts calendar and details about upcoming events visit the new Arts Iowa website.