Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 6, 2009

Paul Harding's Feb. 18 reading will be streamed live by UI Writing University

Iowa Writers' Workshop alumnus Paul Harding will read from "Tinkers," his debut novel that is creating a buzz in the literary world, in a free event at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The "Live from Prairie Lights" series event will be streamed live on the University of Iowa Writing University Web site, and then added to the site's archive.

In "Tinkers" an old man lays dying, and 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.

Writers' Workshop faculty member Marilynne Robinson commented, ""Tinkers is truly remarkable . . . It confers on the reader the best privilege fiction can afford, the illusion of ghostly proximity to other human souls."

A review in the San Francisco Chronicle gushed, "In Paul Harding's stunning first novel, we find what readers, writers and reviewers live for: a new way of seeing, in a story told as a series of ruminative images, like a fanned card deck. . . . Beneath the men's stories flows a series of heart-wrenching inquiries into the nature of life on earth, its terrible beauty, and the limits of our ability to comprehend and bear it."

And Elizabeth McCracken, author of "Niagara Falls All Over Again," wrote, "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."

Harding now teaches creative writing at Harvard University.

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

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Jan Weissmiller, Prairie Lights, 319-337-2681,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),