Haruf, K: Benediction
A story of life and death, family and community, set out on the high plains of Colorado.
Kent Haruf's honors 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. He lives with his wife, Cathy, in the town of Salida in their native Colorado.
'Haruf is the master of what one of his characters calls "the precious ordinary"... With understated language and startling emotional insight, he makes you feel awe at even the most basic of human gestures.' Ben Goldstein, Esquire 'Reverberant... From the terroir and populace of his native American West, the author of Plainsong and Eventide again draws a story elegant in its simple telling and remarkable in its authentic capture of universal human emotions.' Brad Hooper, Booklist 'Haruf is maguslike in his gifts... to illuminate the inevitable ways in which tributary lives meander toward confluence... Perhaps not since Hemingway has an American author triggered such reader empathy with so little reliance on the subjectivity of his characters... [This] is a modestly wrought wonder from one of our finest living writers.' Bruce Machart, The Houston Chronicle 'His finest-tuned tale yet... There is a deep, satisfying music to this book, as Haruf weaves between such a large cast of characters in so small a space... Strangely, wonderfully, the moment of a man's passing can be a blessing in the way it brings people together. Benediction recreates this powerful moment so gracefully it is easy to forget that, like [the town of] Holt, it is a world created by one man.' John Freeman, The Boston Globe 'As Haruf's precise details accrue, a reader gains perspective: This is the story of a man's life, and the town where he spent it, and the people who try to ease its end... His sentences have the elegance of Hemingway's early work [and his] determined realism, which admits that not all of our past actions or the reasons behind them are knowable, even to ourselves, is one of the book's satisfactions.' John Reimringer, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune 'Grace and restraint are abiding virtues in Haruf's fiction, and they resume their place of privilege in his new work... For readers looking for the rewards of an intimate, meditative story, it is indeed a blessing.' Karen R. Long, The Cleveland Plain Dealer 'We've waited a long time for an invitation back to Holt, home to Kent Haruf's novels... He may be the most muted master in American fiction [and] Benediction seems designed to catch the sound of those fleeting good moments [with] scenes Hemingway might have written had he survived.' Ron Charles, Washington Post 'Benediction suggests there's no end to the stories Haruf can tell about Holt or to the tough, gorgeous language he can summon in the process.' New York Times 'Truly showcases the novel as an art form.' Psychologies 'A brilliant end to his brilliant Plainsong trilogy.' Lucy Mangan, Stylist 'Kent Haruf describes Dad Lewis's last summer with beautiful simplicity ... Haruf's existing fans have been waiting patiently for Benediction for years. They won't be surprised by how fine this book is, but newcomers to his writing will be reaching for his previous novels to catch up.' Sunday Express