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It is the winter of 1379 and a sea of trouble is besetting England as French privateers continue to attack the southern coast on a path to threaten London itself. In response an English flotilla of warships, with 'God's Bright Light' in its number, has dropped anchor in the Thames. When the sun rises on the flotilla's first morning, the first mate and two of the crew of 'God's Bright Light' have disappeared without a trace. Sir John Cranston--the wine-loving Coroner of the City--and his clerk Brother Athelstan are summoned to resolve the mysteries on board the ill-omened warship. In particular, they must search out the truth behind the death of Sir Henry Ospring, who after visiting the ship's captain was later viciously stabbed to death in a tavern chamber. As Cranston and Brother Athelstan investigate, they find themselves in the thick of a bloody battle as scandal, treason, and murder rule the day.
A stunning allegorical novel about one man's enduring love for his daughterHailed 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.Advance praise for Paul Harding's Enon "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. [Enon is] an elegiac portrait of a severed family and the town of Enon itself, and Harding again proves himself a contemporary master and one of our most important writers."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) Praise for Tinkers Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers An American Library Association Notable Book "In Paul Harding's stunning first novel, we find what readers, writers and reviewers live for."--San Francisco Chronicle "There are few perfect debut American novels. Walter Percy's The Moviegoer and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird come to mind. So does Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping. To this list ought to be added Paul Harding's devastating first book, Tinkers."--NPR "Tinkers is truly remarkable. It achieves and sustains a unique fusion of language and perception. Its fine touch plays over the textured richnesses of very modest lives, evoking again and again a frisson of deep recognition, a sense of primal encounter with the brilliant, elusive world of the senses. It confers on the reader the best privilege fiction can afford, the illusion of ghostly proximity to other human souls."--Marilynne Robinson "A novel that you'll want to savor . . . I found reading it to be an incredibly moving experience."--Nancy PearlFrom the Hardcover edition.
It is 1380 and the British King's parliament is debating on whether to grant money and supplies to the Regent John of Gaunt for his war against the French. Following the assassination of the Shrewsbury representatives, John orders Sir John Cranston--London's coroner--to investigate lest the parliament suspect the Regent himself of committing the crime. Meanwhile both Cranston and his ally Brother Athelstan have their own problems: the coroner is puzzled by a thief stealing cats from Cheapside, and Athelstan is concerned by claims that a devil is prowling his parish. Against the colorful pageantry of medieval court life and the dark slums of London, Cranston and Brother Athelstan must pit their wits against an assassin in the House of Crows.
The Constable of the Tower of London, Sir Ralph Whitton, is found murdered in a cold, bleak chamber. The door is still locked from the inside and guarded by trusted retainers--so how did the assassin get in? And why was Sir Ralph so terrified by a message he received a few days before his death?
It is the early summer of 1379 and Sir John Cranston--Coroner of the city of London--has trapped himself in a wager with Signior Gian Galeazzo, Lord of Cremona, who has challenged him to resolve a certain murder mystery within two weeks. Men have been repeatedly found dead in the scarlet chamber of one of Cremona's manors. They have no marks upon them, they have neither drunk nor eaten poison, and there are no secret passageways or entrances to the room. They are united only by the awful expressions of terror upon their faces. Realizing that his reputation and future wealth now rest upon the solving of this mystery, Cranston seeks the help of his faithful secretarius Brother Athelstan in untangling the perplexing case.
It is 1376, and the famed Black Prince has died of a terrible rotting sickness, closely followed by his father, King Edward III. The crown of England is now left in the hands of a mere boy--the future Richard II--and the great nobles have gathered like hungry wolves around the empty throne. A terrible power struggle threatens the country, and one of London's powerful merchant princes is foully murdered within a few days of Edward's death. Coroner Sir John Cranston and Dominican monk Brother Athelstan are ordered to investigate, and the body count begins to rise, Cranston and Athelstan are drawn ever deeper into a dark web of intrigue.
An old man lies dying. As time collapses into memory, he travels deep into his past where he is reunited with his father and relives the wonder and pain of his impoverished New England youth. At once heartbreaking and life affirming, Tinkers is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, and the fierce beauty of nature. Paul Harding has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and teaches creative writing at Harvard. He lives in Georgetown, Massachusetts.