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Kent Haruf Books In Order

Publication Order of Plainsong Books

Plainsong (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Eventide (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Benediction (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Tie That Binds (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Where You Once Belonged (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Our Souls at Night (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Alan Kent Haruf was an American author, born February 24, 1943 in pueblo, Colorado.. He died on November 30, 2014( aged 71) at salida, colorado. He novelist and author of six novels, all set in the fictional town of Holt, Colorado.


Kent Haruf was born in pueblo, Colorado; his father was a Methodist minister. He graduated with a bachelor of arts from Nebraska University the year 1965, he later taught at the University, and earned a Master of fine arts from the Lowa Writers’ workshop at the University of Lowa in 1973.

Before establishing himself as a writer, he worked in a number of places, a construction site in Wyoming, a chicken farm in Colorado, a hospital in phoenix, a rehab hospital in Denver, a presidential library in Lowa, as an English teacher in the peace corbs in Turkey, an alternative high school in Wisconsin, and an English teacher in Illinois and Nebraska.

He was married to Cathy, in Salida Colorado until his death in the year 2014.he had three daughters with his first wife.

Kent Haruf’s writing works

All Kent’s novels take place in the fictional town of Holt, eastern Colorado. Holt is in Yuma, Colorado, haruf’s residence in early 1980s. His first novel, titled The Tie That Bind published in 1984 received a whiting award and a special PEN citation. The year 1990 Kent published the second novel, titled Where You Once Belonged. He also did short stories that appeared in magazines. In the year 1999, he published Plainsong and became the best-selling book in the U.S. critics said it the novel was so delicate and lovely, that it had the power to exalt the readers. Plainsong was a success and it won the mountains and plains Booksellers award, won Maria Thomas award, and was a finalist in Nation Book Award for fiction category.

He published Eventide, a sequel to plainsong the year 2004. Critics described the writing as honest story telling. Others said it was a “repeat performance” and too” good hearted.”

On November 30, 2014 Kent Haruf died at Salida, Colorado at the age of 71 years of lung disease.

Our Souls at Night, his final work was published posthumously in 2015. It received wide praise. Critics termed it “ a tender carefully written work that looks like a blessing that readers had no right to expect”

The Tie That Binds (1984)

Is a fiction story of a 80- year-old woman, Edith Goodnough of Holt county, Colorado. The story is told to an inquirer, whose identity is not revealed. The story is narrated on a Sunday afternoon by her neighbor, Sanders Roscoe 50 years old.

Sanders is not a reliable narrator. He has respected, loved, and pitied Edith in his entire life. Whatever sanders narrate about early days of Edith family is a story told by his father who died almost 30 years ago. He often says, (“most of what I am going to tell you, I know. The rest of it, I believe”)

As the story unfolds, is trying to defend his neighbor, Edith Goodnought a reporter trying to talk badly about her. She has been accused of killing her brother Lyman. Sanders is disappointed by the sheriff who is supporting the reporter, saying for the sheriff and the reporter to know the truth of what exactly happened they must have to know Goodnough’a story. Then Sanders begins to tell the story.

In the year 1886, Ada Goodnough and newlyweds Roy leave Lowa for north east part of Colorado under the provision of Homestead Act of 1862. Farming business is proving to be non-profitable but Roy is a man who will never give up, he eventually becomes successful and grows wheat farm. Ada gives birth to two children for him; Edith, who is born in 1887, and Layman who is born in 1889. As their neighbor, Hannah Roscoe, Sanders (narrator) grandmother, an indigenous American woman who was left by her husband and their six-year-old for good, quietly observes Goodnough’s family and also, on Ada’s request, helps deliver Lyman and Edith.

Ada doesn’t adapt to Colorado plains, she regrets leaving Lowa. Her husband turn against her and turns to a violent ad heartless animal, he makes her and their children work very hard on the wheat farm. When she dies ages 42, Edith must assume all her duties. A year after Ada’s death a terrible accident occurs and hits Edith fate. 9 fingers of her father are chopped off when his hand is entangled in a machine. This handicap makes Roy more demanding and ruthless. He demands more work from Edith and Lyman. He treats them as his farm servants. As the two siblings grow, they look for means to escape to no avail. For the next 37 years Edith performs the duties of a farmer and housewife. When Japan attacks U.S Lyman escapes with the intention of joining armed forces. At 42 he can’t join, he returns home an old man. he crashes his pontiac, causing her wife to miscarry and himself get a serious hesd injury which he never recovers from. when life becomes hard for lyman, Edith has a plan to end her brother’s misery. Things do not work as she had planned. She is charged with attempted murder.

Plainsong (1999)

Plainsong is a 301 page fiction novel written by Kent Haruf. It is written in English, it was published by Alfred A. knopf , the year 1999.

It is set in the fictional town of Holt, Colorado. It tells stories of some of the immigrants. The title originated from a type of unrecognized music sung in Christian churches.

This book narrates of small families in residing in Eastern Colorado. Maggie a woman acts as the link between many characters in the novel, Maggie introduces victoria, a friend to neighboring Mcpheron brothers, and she ends up in a love affair with Tom.

The book had different reception among critics; some said it is novel that is so delicate, that it has the power to transform the reader. Plainsong won numerous awards, Mountains and Plains Booksellers award, the Maria Thomas Fiction award, and was finalist for, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and a finalist for National Book Award.

The novel was adapted into Hallmark Hall of Fame.


2014 – Folio prize shortlists for benediction

2012 – Wallace steger award

2009 – Dos Passos Prize for Literature

2005 – Finalist for the Book Sense Award For Eventide

2005 – Colorado Book Award for Eventide

1999 – Finalist for the 1999 National Book Award for Plainsong

1986 – Whiting award for fiction


Book Series In Order » Authors » Kent Haruf