Tinkers

Paul Harding

«A wonderful, lyrical evocation of life in the backwoods of New England ... Harding's "little novel", though modest in word count and page numbers, is anything but small ... Harding's genius is his prose, incantatory as poetry, sure in its rhythm and balance, a wonderfully confident, singsong reiteration of the mundane details of three lifetimes of struggle against the poverty and climatic ferocity of the backwoods of New England. It is a triumphant exercise in American pastoralism, in which no seedhead, blade of grass or pebble is unworthy of notice. Harding's response to the natural world has that sharpness of focus John Ruskin once implored from the artists of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in their paintings. Like the Pre-Raphaelites' vision of nature, it has the same effect of irradiating the commonplace with intimations of greatness and divine grandeur.»

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