Fictional Holt, CO loses its leading citizen

Dec 2, 2014

Kent Haruf
Credit Alfred A. Knopf

Kent Haruf, who brought to life the stories of people and town life in eastern Colorado, died at age 71 on Sunday.  His fictional town of Holt, Colorado is based on three actual towns where he grew up and is captured in his trilogy of novels “Plainsong” (1999), “Eventide” (2004), and “Benediction” (2013). 

Haruf's sixth and final novel, "Our Souls at Night", will be published in 2015 by Alfred A. Knopf.  In his final interview on November 24 with John Moore of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Haruf revealed that it, too, is set in Holt, Colorado, and added, "Well, we'd have to come up with a new word for it: a quad-something. But really, no. I think this is completely separate."

The Denver Post obituary pays tribute to Haruf as native son and keen observer of rural life in the west.  The Guardian obituary from London recognizes him as a novelist of international stature.

In an essay in the autumn issue of Granta magazine Haruff provides a memoir of his writing life and concludes, “I feel as if I’ve been very lucky in my life … over the years I have tried not to write too small, and I want to believe I have tried not to live too small, either.”