College of Arts and Sciences

Poetry-in-the-Round Hosts Pulitzer Prize-winning Fiction Writer Paul Harding  

a photo of Paul HardingPoetry-in-the-Round hosts winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Paul Harding on Wednesday, February 8 at 7 p.m. ET in a free online event

Paul Harding is the author of three novels, Tinkers, which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Enon, and the forthcoming This Other Eden (W. W. Norton, 2023). 

Of Tinkers, praised by The New Yorker as "compact, adamantine," the Los Angeles Times writes, "In this astonishing novel, Paul Harding creates a New England childhood, beginning with the landscape. And he does this, miracle of miracles, through the mind of another human being—not himself, someone else." The novel concerns the life of a dying man named George Washington Crosby, but, as the Boston Globe notes, "The novel is less about the details of one man's life than about the labyrinthine journey all of our lives will take at the end." Tinkers garnered Harding comparison with Whitman and Faulkner and was chosen for NPR’s The Best Debut Fiction of 2009 with this praise: "Devastating . . . Harding has written a masterpiece."

Harding’s second novel, Enon, won much critical praise, too, including from The New Yorker, which calls it “extraordinary” and “a darkly intoxicating read” and notes that “[Harding’s] prose is steeped in a visionary, transcendentalist tradition that echoes Blake, Rilke, Emerson, and Thoreau.” Publishers Weekly says:

"Drawing upon the same New England landscape and family as his Pulitzer Prize–winning debut Tinkers, Harding deftly captures loss and its consequences in this gorgeous and haunting follow-up. . . . Offering an elegiac portrait of a severed family and the town of Enon itself, Harding’s second novel again proves he’s a contemporary master and one of our most important writers".

Among other honors, Enon was named one of the best novels of the year by The Wall Street Journal, American Library Association, and Kirkus Reviews.

Harding’s much-anticipated third novel, This Other Eden, is “inspired by the true story of Malaga Island, an isolated island off the coast of Maine that became one of the first racially integrated towns in the Northeast.” It comes out in January 2023.

Harding has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and PEN America. He has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, The Michener Center for Writers, and Harvard University. He is currently the Director of the MFA program in Creative Writing and Literature at Stony Brook University.

The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome. Register here.

About the Series:

Poetry-in-the-Round has brought some of the best contemporary writers from around the world to Seton Hall University for the past three decades. Some of those visitors have included Jennifer Egan, Susan Choi, Dinaw Mengestu, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Ben Lerner, Téa Obreht, Brandon Taylor, Parul Seghal, Elif Batuman, Christine Schutt, Heidi Julavits, Ben Marcus, Jenny Offill, Gary Shteyngart, Kaitlyn Greenidge, Karen Russell, Alexandra Kleeman, Helen Phillips, Major Jackson, Deborah Eisenberg, Susan Orlean, Jonathan Franzen, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdie, Russell Banks, C.K. Williams, Nadine Gordimer, Jamaica Kincaid, John Ashbery, Adrienne Rich, and many others. The series has worked to bring established and up-and-coming new writers to the attention of Seton Hall students and the community.

Can't make it to this event? Poetry-in-the-Round is pleased to feature speakers throughout the academic year. Take a look at the schedule of upcoming Poetry-in-the-Round guest speakers below:

  • March 29, 2023 at 7 p.m.: Award-winning fiction writer Nathan Oates, author of A Flaw in the Design.
  • April 19, 2023 at 7 p.m.: Award-winning prose writer Courtney Zoffness, author of Spilt Milk, named a "must-read" by Good Morning America.

Categories: Arts and Culture