Kent Haruf biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Kent Haruf
© Cathy Haruf

Kent Haruf

How to pronounce Kent Haruf: Rhymes with sheriff

Kent Haruf Biography

Kent Haruf’s honors include a Whiting Foundation Award and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation. His 1999 novel, Plainsong, won the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the New Yorker Book Award; and Benediction (2013) was on the shortlist for the 2014 Folio Prize.

He lived with his wife, Cathy, in his native Colorado until his death in November 2014 at the age of 71. His last novel, Our Souls at Night, published in May 2015. Gary Fisketjon, his editor at Knopf, said "Kent had finished all his revisions and even gone through the copy editing."



This bio was last updated on 12/01/2014. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about this author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and publishers: If you wish to make changes to a bio, send the complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Interview

Kent Haruf discusses Plainsong.

This is from your frontispiece: Plainsong--the unisonous vocal music used in the Christian church from the earliest times; any simple and unadorned melody or air.

There's an obvious pun that this is kind of a song or an emblem for the Plains or an anthem for the Plains. Sung in a plain style. These are regular, ordinary sort of elemental characters and I think they're presented sort of directly and I wanted the prose to be kind of simple and direct.

Even without elaboration the characters are very strong. They are people we come to know and care about and the pages turn that way. In the shifting source of narrative from chapter to chapter I didn't want to let go of the storyline I'd just been in but I was very happy to get back and find out what's going on elsewhere.

Well, I had some misgivings about whether or not that form would put off readers. It was the only thing I could think of doing regarding these characters and how to tell their stories. In a way, the Plains have no excess. If you think of places where it is rich in vegetation, it seems like there is so much of it that you almost get lost in it. In the Plains, things are stripped down to the essentials and that...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Kent Haruf at BookBrowse
Our Souls at Night jacket Benediction jacket Eventide jacket Plainsong jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Kent Haruf but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • James Anderson

    James Anderson

    James Anderson grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a graduate of Reed College, and received his MFA in creative writing from Pine Manor College. His short fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in many ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Eventide

    Try:
    The Never-Open Desert Diner
    by James Anderson

  • Tiffany Baker

    Tiffany Baker

    Tiffany Baker’s Recipe For A Writing Life

    A handful of islands: Belvedere , Aquidneck, Balboa, Manhattan, Corsica, Maui, the UK
    Three small children: Two girls and a boy, plump in the cheeks and knees. Strong-willed ...

    (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Eventide

    Try:
    The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
    by Tiffany Baker

We recommend 22 similar authors

View all 22 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Unsheltered
    Unsheltered
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    Willa Knox's house is falling down. She recently inherited a Victorian residence in Vineland, ...
  • Book Jacket: Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
    Ya Ta, the main character in Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's novel, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, ...
  • Book Jacket: The Boneless Mercies
    The Boneless Mercies
    by April Genevieve Tucholke
    The Mercies are assassins, part of a long tradition of killers who serve to end the suffering of the...
  • Book Jacket: Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen
    Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen
    by Sarah Bird
    Sarah Bird's historical novel, Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen, imagines, with a grand flourish, ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Code Girls
by Liza Mundy

The riveting story of the USA's courageous and accomplished WWII female American code breakers.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Kennedy Debutante
    by Kerri Maher

    "An engrossing tale of family, faith and love in the life of one remarkable woman." - Booklist
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Gone So Long

Andre Dubus III's First Novel in a Decade

A masterpiece of thrilling tension and heartrending empathy.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

G H E Rope A H Will H H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.