This year marks the 10th anniversary of Paul Harding's Tinkers, which was the surprise recipient of the the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. (Later, the New York Times admitted that it had passed on reviewing Tinkers on its initial publication.) Publisher Bellevue Literary Press, founded in 2007, enjoyed a serious reputation boost. Bellevue was the first small press to win a Pulitzer for Fiction since Louisiana State University Press won for John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces in 1981.
Tinkers follows George Washington Crosby, a former clock repairman now on his deathbed. George thinks back to his impoverished childhood in the backwoods of Maine, and his father, Howard, an itinerant peddler who traveled in a donkey-drawn cart and struggled with epilepsy. The Pulitzer board described the novel as "a powerful celebration of life in which a New England father and son, through suffering and joy, transcend their imprisoning lives and offer new ways of perceiving the world and mortality." In 2013, Harding continued the Crosby family saga with Enon, which follows a year in the life of Charlie Crosby, George Crosby's grandson. In January, Bellevue Literary Press published a 10th anniversary edition of Tinkers with a new foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson ($16.99, 9781942658603). --Tobias Mutter