Plainsong

Plainsong Cover

Plainsong

By Kent Haruf

Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780375705854, 320pp.

Publication Date: August 22, 2000

Description

"Ambitious, but never seeming so, Kent Haruf reveals a whole community as he interweaves the stories of a pregnant high school girl, a lonely teacher, a pair of boys abandoned by their mother, and a couple of crusty bachelor farmers. From simple elements, Haruf achieves a novel of wisdom and grace--a narrative that builds in strength and feeling until, as in a choral chant, the voices in the book surround, transport, and lift the reader off the ground."
-FROM THE CITATION FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD



About the Author
Kent Haruf s honors include a Whiting Foundation Award, a Stegner Award, a Frank Waters Award, and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation. His 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. He lives with his wife, Cathy, in his native Colorado."


Praise For Plainsong

"A novel so foursquare, so delicate and lovely . . . it has the power to exalt the reader." --The New York Times Book Review

"Resonant and meaningful . . . . A song of praise in honor of the lives it chronicles [and] a story about people's ability to adapt and redeem themselves, to heal the wounds of isolation by moving, gropingly and imperfectly, toward community." --Richard Tillinghast, The Washington Post Book World

"A compelling and compassionate novel. . . . [With] his sheer assurance as a storyteller, [Mr. Haruf] has conjured up an entire community, and ineluctably immersed the reader in its dramas." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"A work as flawlessly unified as a short story by Poe or Chekhov." --Jon Hassler, Chicago Tribune

"Haunting, virtuosic, inimitable." --Sarah Saffian, San Francisco Chronicle

"If the novelist invents a world, then Mr. Haruf has shaped a place of enormous goodness... The story itself--spare, unsentimental, rooted in action--honors the values of the community it describes." --Lisa Michaels,

"A moving look at our capacity for both pointless cruelty and simple decency, our ability to walk out of the wreckage of one family and build a stronger one where that one used to stand." --Jeff Giles, Newsweek

"A work as flawlessly unified as a short story by Poe or Chekhov." --Jon Hassler, Chicago Tribune



NPR
Tuesday, Dec 2, 2014

Novelist Kent Haruf chased writing in his youth, but it wasn't until he was 40 that he'd developed his skills enough to be published. He's best known for National Book Award finalist Plainsong. More at NPR.org

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