Bellevue Literary Press, 2009
Paperback - 192 pages
Another Pulitzer Prize, this time for fiction, went to Paul Harding for his quiet, contemplative novel on the life of a dying clockmaker in rural Maine. The character, George Washington Crosby, was the son of an old-time tinker who traveled around with his wagon of wares in rural Maine. He lies on his deathbed as time counts down on the dozens of clocks that fill the house. George thinks about the painful, impoverished lives of his parents. His father was a door-to-door salesman and acute epileptic. His mother contemplated suicide if only she could break through the frozen lake and drown. The characters and setting are rendered with exquisite and imaginative detail. Harding’s is a fresh new voice that we will hear more from as time goes by.