Preceding the astonishing Eventide and Benediction, this is Kent Haruf's first novel set in the imaginary landscape of Holt, Colorado.
Kent Haruf's honours include a Whiting Foundation Award and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation. 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. Haruf's 2013 novel, Benediction, was shortlisted for the Folio prize. He died in 2014 at the age of seventy-one.
A lovely read, illuminated by sparks of spare beauty * Time * Elegant in its simplicity, elemental in its power, it arouses deep and hard-earned emotions * Newsday * True to the country he writes about, Haruf builds his characters out of small gestures and daily rituals, not dialogue. Theirs is a deep language, like the rumble before an earthquake * Los Angeles Times * I've had the delightful experience once again of becoming so absorbed in a book that I couldn't have slowed down if I tried . . . At certain points I was horrified by the austerity of the isolated lives in this story, and yet on every page I savoured the beauty of the telling * Chicago Tribune * Plainsong becomes a story of mythic proportion, and not just a story about a small town in the American West, but a story of universal concern. Our story * Boston Review * Plainsong is a beauty, as spare and heartbreaking as an abandoned homestead cabin, always tough but humane, never sentimental...It's a story that draws the reader like a heat mirage -- James Crumley From simple strands of language and cuttings of talk, from the look of the high Colorado plains east of Denver almost to the place where Nebraska and Kansas meet, Haruf has made a novel so foursquare, so delicate and lovely, that it has the power to exalt the reader. * New York Times * A first-rate, old-fashioned read * Time Out * Plainsong is a well-crafted investigation into how disparate voices, each unique and interconnected, can come together in the most unlikely of circumstances . . . Haruf offers a fresh approach by creating layers which intensify and deepen as the novel progresses, alternating between each character's life at every chapter * Observer * Plainsong is nothing short of a revelation -- Richard Russo The hundreds of thousands of fans of this book have been nothing less than devotional in their praise of Kent Haruf * Times Literary Supplement * Like all the best novels, Plainsong takes you into a world that is at once real and vividly imagined. Here is a poetry of landscape, a tender and passionate evocation of ordinary people in majestic country -- Niall Williams Kent Haruf's prose murmurs a haunting melody through the intertwined lives of a Colorado community. It is a simple tale of life, death, love and hatred * The Times *