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Enon
Cover of Enon
Enon
A Novel
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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY
The Wall Street Journal
  • American Library Association
  • Kirkus Reviews
    A stunning allegorical novel about one man's enduring love for his daughter

    In Enon, Paul 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 "a contemporary master and one of our most important writers" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
    Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.

    "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
    From the Trade Paperback edition.
  • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY
    The Wall Street Journal
  • American Library Association
  • Kirkus Reviews
    A stunning allegorical novel about one man's enduring love for his daughter

    In Enon, Paul 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 "a contemporary master and one of our most important writers" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
    Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.

    "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
    From the Trade Paperback edition.
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    Awards-
    About the Author-
    • Paul Harding is the author of the novel Tinkers, which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers. He was a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and has taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Harvard University, and Grinnell College.

    Reviews-
    • Publisher's Weekly

      Starred review from July 8, 2013
      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.

    • Kirkus

      Starred review from August 1, 2013
      The author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tinkers (2009) returns with another striking study of family, time and mortality. This time, though, Harding's style is less knotty, almost Hemingway-esque, at least in its opening pages. That's in part due to the fact that he has a clearer story to tell: This book covers a year in the life of Charlie Crosby (a descendant of the clan introduced in Tinkers) as he mourns the death of his 13-year-old daughter in an accident. After smashing his hand against a wall in a rage, he loses his wife and develops a slow-growing addiction to painkillers and alcohol that leads him to break-ins and other foolhardy decisions. But Harding is less concerned with plot as with what's swimming in Charlie's head, and themes of nature and time abound. His narration shifts from past to present, from memories of his daughter to his nature walks in New England to his helping his father repair a clock in a home that has an orrery--a model of the solar system that symbolizes the symphonic breadth of nature and the universality of his struggle. Harding's work owes much to his former teacher Marilynne Robinson, with whom he shares an affinity for precise, religious-tinged prose. The penultimate chapters of the book, however, display a unique hallucinatory style: As Charlie's grief reaches its apex, he's consumed by dark visions, and Harding's skillful whipsawing of the reader from the surreal to the quotidian is the best writing he's done. Though the final pages bend the story safely back to a familiar redemption arc, Charlie's experience doesn't feel commonplace. His trip to hell and back envisions a different kind of hell, and his status as "back," just as in the real world, isn't guaranteed. Beautifully turned: Harding has defogged his style a bit and gained a stronger emotional impact from it.

      COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    • Library Journal

      April 15, 2013
      Harding's exquisite debut novel, "Tinkers", won the Pulitzer Prize and has racked up sales close to 500,000 copies in the trade paperback and ebook formats combined. Writing in the first person and again using New England as a setting, Harding explores the grief of protagonist Charlie Crosby (grandson of "Tinkers" character George Crosby) over the loss of his daughter. An eight-city tour.

      Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

    • Chicago Tribune

      "Harding conveys the common but powerful bond of parental love with devastating accuracy. . . . Enon confirms what the Pulitzer jury decided: Paul Harding--no longer a 'find'--is a major voice in American fiction."

    • O: The Oprah Magazine "Paul Harding's novel Tinkers won the Pulitzer Prize; its stunning successor, Enon, only raises the bar."
    • The New Yorker "An extraordinary follow-up to the author's Pulitzer Prize--winning debut . . . Harding's subject is consciousness rooted in a contemporary moment but bound to a Puritan past. His prose is steeped in a visionary, transcendentalist tradition that echoes Blake, Rilke, Emerson, and Thoreau, and makes for a darkly intoxicating read."
    • Entertainment Weekly "So wild and riveting it's practically an aria . . . Harding is a superb stylist."
    • The Wall Street Journal "Without blurring the sharply lucid nightmares and recollections, Mr. Harding pushes Charlie's madness to a crisis point of destruction or renewal. The journey to the depths of his grief is unforgettably stark and sad. But that sadness, shaped by a gifted writer's caressing attention, can also bring about moments of what Charlie calls 'brokenhearted joy.'"
    • Rebecca Abrams, Financial Times "Harding is an extraordinary writer, for the intoxicating power of his prose, the range of his imagination, and above all for the redemptive humanity of his vision. With painstaking brilliance, Enon charts one man's attempt to salvage meaning from meaningless tragedy, to endure the ubiquitous presence of a loved one's absence. A superb account of the banality and uniqueness of bereavement, it more than earns its place alongside such non-fictional classics as Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking and CS Lewis's A Grief Observed. That Enon is a work of fiction that feels authentic as memoir makes it all the more astonishing."
    • San Francisco Chronicle "Enon is Joan Didion's Blue Nights on major meds. . . . Time was the subject of Tinkers as grief is the subject of Enon. The two are related, like father and sons. Read Enon to live longer in the harsh, gorgeous atmosphere that Paul Harding has created."
    • New York Daily News "Paul Harding's excellent second novel . . . is a lovely book about grief, the ways in which we punish ourselves for feeling it, and, ultimately, how we rebuild our lives even when they seem unsalvageable."
    • Booklist (starred review) "Harding's mythic sensibility, soaring empathy for his devastated yet life-loving protagonist, comedic embrace of the absurd, and exquisite receptivity to the beauty and treachery of the living world make for one astonishingly daring, gripping, and darkly resplendent novel of all-out grief and crawling-from-the-ruins survival."
    • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "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. . . . 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."
    • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "As Charlie's grief reaches its apex, he's consumed by dark visions, and Harding's skillful whipsawing of the reader from the surreal to the quotidian is the best writing he's done."
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