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The Boston Globe


First Person

Second coming

Topsfield-based drummer-turned-novelist Paul Harding, who shocked the literary world when his debut, “Tinkers,” won the Pulitzer, returns with his sophomore novel, “Enon.”

It’s become exaggerated over the years, this story about how [Tinkers ] was rejected by every publisher in the universe. The reality is that I met with a copious but common amount of rejection. I received some rejection letters that said nobody wants to read quiet, metaphysical novels. One of them actually said nobody wants to read a novel written from more than one point of view. I wrote a metaphysical, contemplative, more-than-one-point-of-view novel.

Had the Pulitzer not happened, its worldly career would have still exceeded my wildest expectations. The day it came out, it was briefly noted in The New Yorker. I think pretty much every American newspaper reviewed it more or less favorably. Then, in the middle of April [2010], we won the Pulitzer. That was like the world turning inside out, like those cartoons where your eyes jump out of your head and your brain comes flying out.

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