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About the Author

Kent Haruf is the author of five previous novels (and, with the photographer Peter Brown, West of Last Chance). His honors include a Whiting Foundation Writers' Award, the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award, the Wallace Stegner Award, and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation; he was also a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the New Yorker Book Award. He died in November 2014, at the age of seventy-one.

Reviews

Big doings for this continuation of Plainsong: a 250,000-copy first printing and an author tour of 22 (count 'em, 22) cities. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Adult/High School-In this sequel to Plainsong (Knopf, 1999), Victoria Roubideaux and her baby move from the McPheron ranch to settle into her new life of college and single parenthood. When Harold McPheron is accidentally killed by a bull, his brother, Raymond, tries desperately to cope with the ranch and living by himself. Rose Tyler, a kind, middle-aged social worker, eventually becomes his friend and lover and acts as a balance in his life. Harold becomes a part of the lives of her clients, especially young DJ Kephart, who struggles daily to be both an elementary school child and caregiver to his grandfather. This natural interaction of people thrown together by fate and unplanned circumstances realistically mimics life in general and, specifically, the community life of many small towns. The overall tone of the book offers hope and love despite the stark moments of sadness and grief. Compassion, strength of character, and loving concern for all life become the positive forces that help each of the individuals carry on. This book stands alone, but reading the two novels in sequence gives additional meaning and understanding to the events and characters.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Haruf's follow-up to the critically acclaimed and bestselling Plainsong is as lovely and accomplished as its predecessor. The aging bachelor McPheron brothers and their beloved charges, Victoria and her daughter, Katie, return (though Victoria quickly heads off to college), and Haruf introduces new folks-a disabled couple and their children, an old man and the grandson who lives with him-in this moving exploration of smalltown lives in rural Holt, Colo. Ranchers Raymond and Harold McPheron have spent their whole lives running land that has been in their family for many generations, so when Harold is killed by an enraged bull, worn-out Raymond faces a void unlike any he has ever known. His subsequent first-ever attempts at courtship and romance are almost heartbreaking in their innocence, but after some missteps, he finds unexpected happiness with kind Rose Tyler. Rose is the caseworker for a poor couple struggling so dimly and futilely to better their lives that it becomes painful to witness. Children play crucial roles in the novel's tapestry of rural life, and they are not spared life's trials. But Haruf's characters, such as 11-year-old orphan DJ Kephart, who cares for his retired railroad worker grandfather, and Mary Wells, whose husband abandons her with two young girls, maintain an elemental dignity no matter how buffeted by adversity. And while there is much sadness and hardship in this portrait of a community, Haruf's sympathy for his characters, no matter how flawed they are, make this an uncommonly rich novel. Agent, Sterling Lord Literistic. (May 9) Forecast: Readers will find that what made Plainsong a bestseller-its humanity, its grace and its moving, heartfelt story-shines again in Eventide. With an announced first printing of 250,000 and an author tour, Haruf's latest should do very, very well. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"Possesses the haunting appeal of music, the folksy rhythms of an American ballad and the lovely, measured grace of an old hymn." -Michiko Kakutani, The New York TimesA kind book in a cruel world. . . [with] honest impulses, real people and the occasional workings of grace. -Christopher Tilghman, The Washington Post"An extraordinary vision. . . . Who in America can still write like this? Who else has such confidence and such humility? -Ron Charles, The Christian Science MonitorHaruf's storytelling at its best." Jennifer Reese, Entertainment Weekly"Stunning. . . . The dry, cold air of Colorado's high plains seems to intensify the light Kent Haruf shines on every character in his masterful novel. . . . A book of hope, hope as plain and hard-won as Haruf's keenly styled prose." -Mark Doty, O, The Oprah MagazineWriting in a style reminiscent of Hemingway, Haruf has a pitch-perfect ear for dialogue. . . . Eventide is a spare, delicate and beautiful book. Haruf has created another poignant meditation on the true meaning of family. -The Oregonian "A clear distillation of the writer's craft, [Eventide is] a book that grabs you by the heart on the first page, refusing to release its grasp until the last. -The Denver PostHighly charged and compassionate. . . . Every action in Holt casts a long shadow, and the gist of Haruf's story is what happens when those shadows touch. -The New YorkerHaruf's storytelling at its best. -Entertainment WeeklyMasterful. . . . A full and satisfying novel . . . [that] might be even more emotionally powerful than its predecessor. . . . [Haruf] rewards the reader's willingness to explore quotidian life with the occasional burst of heart-pounding drama, [and] one scene of romantic discovery, understated and painterly, is enough to weaken the knees of any cynic. -The Plain DealerHaruf's laconic style-- with nouns as strong and upright as fenceposts, the verbs as clean and sharp as razor wire-- [creates] a richly symphonic effect. . . . In creating a place whose people are tethered to each other by history and emotion as much as place, Haruf's work is now competing with Faulkner's Mississippi, Sherwood Anderson's Midwest, and Wallace Stegner's northern California. -Chicago Sun-TimesLike the lives he chronicles, Haruf's prose moves relentlessly forward, catching in his images the fierceness and sweetness of experience. -Minneapolis Star TribuneThere's a decency that shines in the very accuracy with which [Haruf] describes the ordinary--the ordinary for Holt, that is, though it has become exotic to the rest of us. Scene after scene . . . flows by us as clear as spring water, proof that truth, like virtue, is its own reward. -Los Angeles Times Book ReviewEventide is a brave and admirable book. . . . Once more, [Haruf] leaves us waiting for what he will do next, waiting for what will come. -The Kansas City StarHaruf is a master of evocative description, [and his] lyrical style, which has been compared to that of Hemingway and Chekhov . . . quickly infects the reader with its own peculiar rhythms. . . . Most important, there is Haruf's spirit, which suggests that people unrelated by blood can and must form families, that a simple act of goodwill can occur even when it seems impossible. -St. Louis Post-DispatchHoyt is a villain of Dickensian proportion, and the novel lights up with smart-alecky viciousness every time he steps onto the page. -San Francisco Chronicle"Eventide is a lovely novel, all the more for its uncompromising realism, its eschewing of the magical palliative of happy endings, its recognition that decency carries its own unique rewards. -The Baltimore SunThe writer's heartfelt attention to his characters' wants and needs, especially their troubled inner lives, merits a close look from anyone who reads books to gain insight into that incalculable blend of tragedy and grace that inevitably marks every human life. -Orlando SentinelKent Haruf returns to small-town Colorado with another pitch-perfect novel. . . . Haruf has once again demonstrated that he can push a tale featuring our Western landscape beyond romanticized cowboy myth into distilled reality. -Rocky Mountain NewsHaruf's characters and his town loom as large as any in contemporary American fiction. I hope Haruf returns to Holt for at least one more book. -Jim Grinnell, The Bloomsbury Review"A permanent addition to the literary map of this country. -Milwaukee Journal-Star

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