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 , 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.