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Plainsong Books In Order

Publication Order of Plainsong Books

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

The Plainsong series is an exciting series of contemporary and literary fiction stories. It is written by a well known American writer named Kent Haruf. He started writing the series in 1999 and published three books until 2013. Each book of this series is set in a small town in Colorado called Holt. Some of the events of the series also take place in the town of Denver. Kent Haruf has particularly set the stories in Colorado as he is very fond of the place for being his birthplace. Every novel of this series revolves around the lives of Victoria Roubideaux and the McPheron brothers. Kent has depicted Victoria Roubideaux as a single mother, who is taken in by the McPheron brothers to live with them.

The events unfold when Victoria decides to leave the ranch of the McPheron brothers to start college and live her life on her own terms. Some of the essential characters created by Kent Haruf for this series include Ike Gutherie, Bobby Guthrie, Harold McPheron, Raymond McPheron, Dad Lewis, Maggie Jones, Ella Guthrie, Tom Guthrie, and several others. This series went on to become a grand success by riding on the successes of the individual novels. Readers from across the world have liked the books and the stories described by Kent Haruf in them. They have also given rave reviews for each one of the books and have widely appreciated the primary characters. Many critics across the globe have praised Kent Haruf’s depiction of the characters in this series and his storytelling abilities as well as writing skills. They have also given excellent reviews for the novels on various literary platforms.

Even the fellow writers of Kent Haruf have appreciated his work and have motivated him to many more exciting novels in the future through their kind words. The success of the series can be understood from the fact that its books went on to be nominated for many prestigious awards and also won a few of them. They include winning the ALA Alex Award, Society of Midland Authors Award, Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction, etc., and receiving nominations for the International Dublin Literary Award, the Book Sense Award, the Rathbones Folio Prize, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

The debut book of the Plainsong series written by author Kent Haruf is entitled ‘Plainsong’. It was released in 1999 by the Vintage publication. The book opens by introducing the small town of Holt in Colorado. Victoria Roubideaux is shown as a teenage girl, who gets pregnant out of an affair and gets thrown out of her house by her mother. Maggie Jones, Victoria’s teacher, takes her in and gives her shelter for some time. But, Victoria decides to move out as Maggie’s old father suffers from Alzheimer’s and there is not much space in her house for another person who needs to be looked after. Upon the request of Maggie, the McPheron brothers agree to taken in Victoria and let her live on their widespread ranch.

The McPheron’s are elderly brothers who have never married. They consider Victoria as their surrogate daughter. Sometimes, Tom Guthrie comes to the ranch to provide a helping hand along with his kids, Bobby and Ike. After Tom’s wife leaves him and their kids due to depression and drug abuse, he starts dating Maggie. Kent Haruf has presented a deeply emotional story with the help of his excellent observation skills. He has shown the power of family, friends, and love.

The second installment of this emotional series is known as ‘Eventide’. It was also published by the Vintage publication in 2004. This novel opens by depicting the moving out of Victoria Roubideaux from the McPheron’s ranch in order to pursue her college studies. Once again, Maggie Jones provides her compassion and stands by her decision. Several new characters are introduced in this book in the form of Rose, Betty, Luther, Richie Rae, Joy Rae, etc. Rose is depicted as a dedicated social worker. She has seen too much suffering and pain in her life and wishes to help people in getting out of their sufferings. Betty and Luther are seen as a mentally and socially challenged couple, whose parenting efforts result in catastrophic consequences. Joy and Richie are their children. They have always faced bullying and abuse because of being poor. This novel also depicts a sad and realistic story that is ultimately hopeful. Haruf has mentioned how the people of Holt strive to get rid of their loneliness and connect with people around them.

Kent Haruf was a renowned American novelist, who was famous for writing fiction. He was particularly popular for his Plainsong novels along with several standalone titles. Author Haruf was born on February 24, 1943 in Pueblo, Colorado. His father was a Methodist minister. Haruf completed his graduation from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a bachelor of arts degree in 1965. Later, he joined the university to teach. Haruf earned his MFA in 1973 from Iowa University’s Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Before deciding to become a full-time writer, he tried his hand in a variety of jobs, including working at a construction site, chicken farm, rehab center, hospital, presidential library, alternative high school, and a few colleges.

Haruf lived in Salida, Colorado with his wife named Cathy until he breathed his last in 2014. He was previously married and had 3 daughters from his first wife. All the novels penned by Haruf are set in a fictional town known as Holt. This town is based on Yuma, which was one of the residences of Haruf during the early 1980s. With his very first novel, Haruf had won the Whiting Award in 1984. After this, he wrote one more novel and then shifted his focus towards writing short stories that would go on to feature in various literary magazines. Haruf’s first bestseller came out in 1999 under the title of Plainsong. This novel was labeled as a lovely and delicate piece of work and capable of exalting the reader.

Following the worldwide success of Plainsong, Haruf wrote two sequels and published them in 2004 and 2014 respectively. His last novel, Our Souls at Night, was released posthumously in 2015. Haruf has finished writing the manuscript just before he died. This novel was later adapted into a movie of the same name in 2017 by director Ritesh Batra and featured Jane Fonda and Robert Redford in the lead roles. Author Haruf’s death happened on November 30, 2014, at his home in Salida. He was undergoing treatment interstitial lung disease, but could not overcome it. In one of his interviews, Haruf had claimed that he was greatly influenced by the works of Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner.

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