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by Paul Harding

"The Wall Street Journal - "American Library Association" - Kirkus Reviews"
A stunning allegorical novel about one man's enduring love for his daughter
Hailed as "a masterpiece" (NPR), "Tinkers, "Paul Harding's Pulitzer Prize-winning debut, is a modern classic.

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More About Enon by Paul Harding
"The Wall Street Journal - "American Library Association" - Kirkus Reviews"
A stunning allegorical novel about one man's enduring love for his daughter
Hailed as "a masterpiece" (NPR), "Tinkers, "Paul Harding's Pulitzer Prize-winning debut, is a modern classic. "The Dallas Morning News" observed that "like Faulkner, Harding never shies away from describing what seems impossible to put into words." Here, in "Enon, " Harding follows a year in the life of Charlie Crosby as he tries to come to terms with a shattering personal tragedy. Grandson of George Crosby (the protagonist of "Tinkers"), Charlie inhabits the same dynamic landscape of New England, its seasons mirroring his turbulent emotional odyssey. Along the way, Charlie's encounters are brought to life by his wit, his insights into history, and his yearning to understand the big questions. A stunning mosaic of human experience, "Enon" affirms Paul Harding as one of the most gifted and profound writers of his generation.
Praise for "Enon"
"Harding conveys the common but powerful bond of parental love with devastating accuracy. . . . He] is a major voice in American fiction."--"Chicago Tribune "
"Paul Harding's novel "Tinkers "won the Pulitzer Prize; its stunning successor, "Enon, "only raises the bar."--"O: The Oprah Magazine"
"Extraordinary . . . a darkly intoxicating read . . . Harding's] prose is steeped in a visionary, transcendentalist tradition that echoes Blake, Rilke, Emerson, and Thoreau."--"The New Yorker"
" "
"So wild and riveting it's practically an aria . . . Harding is a superb stylist."--"Entertainment Weekly"
" Charlie's grief], shaped by a gifted writer's caressing attention, can bring about moments of what Charlie calls 'brokenhearted joy.'"--"The Wall Street Journal"
" "
"Astonishing . . . a work of fiction that feels authentic as memoir."--"Financial Times"
"Read "Enon" to live longer in the harsh, gorgeous atmosphere that Paul Harding has created."--"San Francisco Chronicle"

  • ISBN-13: 9781400069439
  • ISBN-10: 1400069432
  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Publish Date: September 2013
  • Page Count: 238

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-07-08
  • Reviewer: Staff

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. The novel opens with a grieving Charlie Crosby (grandson of Tinkers protagonist George Washington Crosby) attempting to come to terms with the death of his daughter, Kate, and the subsequent dissolution of his marriage. Although the narrative is rendered through Charlie’s voice, the phenomenal prose on which Harding has staked his name comes out authentically, especially in the book’s darkest and most introspective moments: “I felt like a ghost, listless and confined, wandering in a house that had been mine a century ago, relegated to examining the details of the lives of strangers.” While the novel’s first half is mired in the cyclical self-obsession and self-hatred of grief, and slows to a crawl for a few too many flashbacks, Charlie’s eventual substance abuse and resulting hallucinations allow Harding to let his prose loose as he delves into the deepest aspects of loss and regret. 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. Agent: Ellen Levine, Trident Media Group. (Sept. 10)

BookPage Reviews

Wandering through grief

“I had a daughter and she died.” With those chilling words, Paul Harding’s new novel launches readers on a harrowing journey into the mind of a father wrecked with grief over the death of his teenage daughter in a bicycling accident.

Kate’s death quickly fractures Charlie Crosby’s already shaky marriage, and his wife flees the Massachusetts town that gives the novel its title to return to her family. Alone, Charlie spirals into an ever deeper despair, and Harding fully inhabits his psyche to paint a bleak portrait of nearly unremitting grief. Fueled by drugs and tortured by sleeplessness, Charlie spends his nights wandering through Enon’s cemetery, struggling to summon memories of his daughter—or as he says, “trying to follow her into the country of the dead in order to fetch her back.” Even nature, in the form of a hurricane, is congruent with Charlie’s profound sadness.

Relief comes intermittently through the judicious use of flashbacks, as Harding gently reveals Charlie’s relationship with Kate, his only child. We see them feeding birds from their hands and exploring the colorfully named landmarks of Enon, like Wild Man’s Meadow and Peters’s Pulpit. In these seemingly inconsequential moments, we understand the strength of the bond between father and daughter and the poignancy of a life ended violently and prematurely. Charlie realizes that Kate’s “short and happy life was the greatest joy in my own,” while understanding, paradoxically, that the same joy “was the measure and source of my grief.”

Charlie is the grandson of the main character of Harding’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Tinkers, who makes a brief appearance here. The stories are, however, also connected by a shared appreciation for the culture and history of small New England towns and a fascination with the natural world, as well as Harding’s affinity for dense, yet lyrical, prose.

Enon is a novel that is chiseled out of profound darkness. But Harding’s sensitivity in telling this difficult story makes reading it a rewarding, if sometimes painful, experience.

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a Q&A with Paul Harding for Enon.

BAM Customer Reviews