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Enon / Paul Harding.

By: Harding, Paul, 1967-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : William Heinemann, 2013Description: 238 p. ; 22 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780434021727.Subject(s): Families -- Fiction | Grandsons -- Fiction | Bereavement -- Fiction | Loss (Psychology) -- FictionGenre/Form: Psychological fiction.DDC classification: 813/.6 Summary: 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.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Hailed as a masterpiece, Tinkers, Paul Harding's Pulitzer Prize-winningdebut, is a modern classic. 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.

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.

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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

MOST MEN IN MY FAMILY MAKE WIDOWS OF THEIR WIVES AND orphans of their children. I am the exception. My only child, Kate, was struck and killed by a car while riding her bicycle home from the beach one afternoon in September, a year ago. She was thirteen. My wife, Susan, and I separated soon afterward.     I WAS WALKING IN the woods when Kate died. I'd asked her the day before if she wanted to pack a lunch and go to the Enon River to hike around and feed the birds and maybe rent a canoe. The birds were tame and ate seeds from people's hands. From the first time I'd taken her she'd been enchanted with the chickadees and titmice and nuthatches that pecked seeds from her palm, and when she was younger she'd treated feeding the birds as if they depended on it.   Kate said going to the sanctuary sounded great, but she and her friend Carrie Lewis had made plans to go to the beach, and could she go if she was super careful.   "Especially around the lake, and the shore road," I said.   " Especially there, Dad," she said.   I remembered riding my rattly old bike to the beach with my friends when I was a kid. We wore cutoff shorts and draped threadbare bath towels around our necks. We never wore shirts or shoes. We would have laughed at the idea of bike helmets. I don't remember locking our bikes when we got to the beach, although we must have. I told Kate, all right, she could go, and she told me she loved me and kissed me on the ear.     KATE DIED ON A Saturday afternoon. The date was September 1, three days before she would have begun ninth grade. I spent the day wandering the sanctuary without any plans. Enon had been in a heat wave for a week and I had been up late the night before watching West Coast baseball, so I took it slow and mostly kept to the shade. I thought about Kate going to the beach so much over the summer, working on her tan, suddenly conscious of her looks as she'd never been before. The milkweed in the sanctuary had begun to yellow, and the goldenrod to silver. The edges of the green grass were about to dry to straw. Silver and purple rain clouds rolled low across the sky and piled into towering massifs. The slightest wind pushed ahead of the weather, eddying over the meadow, lifting dragonflies from the high grass. Bumblebees worked on the fading wildflowers. I hoped for rain to break the heat.   Chickadees wove around one another, back and forth between the bushes along the path. I hadn't brought any seeds to feed them. I remembered telling Kate about the first time I'd fed the birds from my hand, when I'd been in seventh grade, with my grandfather. We didn't have seeds because he'd forgotten about the birds. When he remembered, he and I stood still on the path, with our hands out, and the birds came to us anyway. The episode had happened so long ago, and I'd told it to Kate so many times, since she'd been a little kid, that I thought it might be fun to try it again, just so I could tell her and bring up the story about my grandfather. (Kate said once, "I never met Gramps, but you talk about him so much I feel like he's somebody I know.") It was getting late and I still had to run to the market to buy food for dinner. Carrie's coming home with Kate, I thought, if they're both not too tired from being in the sun and the bike ride. I decided to buy salmon and asparagus and a lemon and potato salad, and the corn Kate had asked me to get. I figured that if she was hot and tired, she'd want something light. Susan'll like that, too, I thought. I'll get a carton of lemonade, pink if they have it. Kate always said it tastes sweeter, less tart than the yellow kind, although I could never taste the difference.   I had almost reached the end of the boardwalk, at the boundary of the marsh, where the path took up again through the trees and led back to the meadow, where by then swallows would be lacing through the sky, feeding. Although I felt like I didn't have the time, because I didn't want Kate to have to wait too long to eat, I stopped and stood still and held out my empty hand, like I had twenty-one years earlier, eight years before Kate was born, fifteen years before I brought her there. It suddenly seemed lovely, the thought of standing there, coaxing even a single bird, if only for a fluttering instant, just so I could go home and cook dinner and when Kate came out to the picnic table, fresh out of the shower, her hair still wet, maybe even staggering a little to be silly, groaning and saying something like "Argh, I'm so tired," I could say, "Hey, I tried to feed the birds without any seeds, like that first time with Gramps, and it worked!" In the two or three minutes I allowed myself, one bird approached my hand and pulled up short and rolled off back into the bushes when it saw I had no food. I decided that that was close enough and hurried toward the car, glad at the prospect of making Kate a good meal that would comfort her after a long day.   I came out of the woods and hiked up the path alongside the meadow, which was studded with a grid of numbered birdhouses where swallows nested every year. The sun blazed behind the towering thunderheads and backlit their silhouettes. The sky above the clouds was a bright, whitish yellow. The birdhouses and goldenrod and milkweed were suffused in granular, golden, pollinated light, and the swallows spiraled through it, catching insects on the wing. I reached the gravel parking lot and smiled at a woman urging her young son the last few yards to their car. He looked about three or four years old. He tottered and whimpered. The woman stopped pleading and picked him up and murmured something soothing to him and squeezed him to her and kissed his cheek and carried him. I walked across the lot to my station wagon and when I reached it I dug into my pockets for my keys. I saw my cell phone on the passenger seat.   Stupid--lucky no one took it, I thought, but then laughed at the image of a mild, pale birdwatcher in a sun hat and khakis smashing out a window with his walking stick and making off with the phone.   Lightning forked into the meadow and thunder blasted over the field and parking lot. The little boy and his mother shrieked. Rain poured out of the sky as if from a toppled cistern.   I unlocked the door and ducked into the car. The rain sounded like buckets of nails being dropped onto the roof. The backs of my legs felt tight, as they always did after hiking. The screen on the cell phone showed there was a voice mail from Susan. I dialed for the message and wedged the phone between my ear and shoulder so I could unscrew the bottle of spring water I'd left in the car. The water had warmed in the heat so it tasted stale and slightly impure. The phone sounded the sequence of tones for the voice-mail number. I screwed the cap back on the water bottle and tossed it onto the passenger seat.   "Blech," I said, irritated, and took the phone in my hand. I put the car into reverse and twisted around to back out of the parking space. Susan's voice came over the phone. It was hard for me to hear what she was saying over the noise the rain made as it hit the car.   "Charlie, Kate was killed. She was on her bike, near the lake, and a car hit her and killed her, Charlie." Susan's voice broke. A car honked its horn behind me and a woman yelled. My car was moving backward. I stomped the brake. A woman out in the rain, with her hair pulled back in a ponytail, still wearing sunglasses for some reason, pounded on my window.   "What the hell do you think you're doing? Are you crazy?" she yelled at me. "You nearly ran that mother and her kid over!" Susan's voice started speaking again, telling me to get home, that she was there with two police officers. The woman in the rain looked ferocious, water soaking her hair and her clothes and her expensive training sneakers and streaming down her face. I felt as if I'd been struck on the head and could not shake my brain back into place.   Excerpted from Enon by Paul Harding All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Novelist Harding's literary debut, Tinkers, which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, introduced the world to a New England clockmaker named George Washington Crosby. This second novel continues the family story through George's grandson, Charlie Crosby, a man tumbling into a downward spiral of drug abuse and depression following the death of his daughter. Charlie turns his trauma inward to preserve both the memory of his daughter and the town of Enon in which he was born and raised. The narrative is a bridge between these intertwined but disparate experiences. While Charlie paints a bucolic portrait of Enon in his mind, his body and overall appearance wither away. Eventually, his memories and drug-induced imagination conjure up his daughter's ghost, and the faculties of imagination and memory are presented as potentially harmful, leading to prolonged and intensified suffering. The reader is left to ponder whether grief is best remedied by hanging onto the memories of the past or by moving forward without them. VERDICT With crisp, descriptive language, Harding continues where his previous novel left off, exploring the complexity of family and mortality. [See Prepub Alert, 3/18/13.]-Joshua Finnell, Denison Univ. Lib., Granville, OH (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly 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. 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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Harding, a writer preternaturally attuned to the spiraling of time and consciousness, continues the Crosby family story begun in his Pulitzer Prize-winning first novel, Tinkers (2009). Charlie was a solitary boy resistant to the confines of school, ecstatic in nature, and happy in the company of his clock-restorer grandfather, George Crosby. As a husband and father, Charlie loves to read, walk along the Enon River, study the long history of his Massachusetts village, and, best of all, share his passions with his receptive young daughter, Kate. Now all is lost in the shocking tragedy that propels this surreal, apocalyptic odyssey of grief. Writing with ferocious lyricism and macabre vision, Harding lures us deep into Charlie's memory and dreams, pain and desolation. Over a full cycle of New England seasons, Charlie, afflicted with the self-imposed stigmata of a broken hand and adrift in opiate-induced altered states, descends into squalor, inept criminality, and the terrors of the underworld, enacting his own private dire rituals of mortification and sorrow. 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.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

The author of the Pulitzer Prizewinning 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 Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.