Plainsong
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Plainsong

By (author) Kent Haruf

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" Ambitious, but never seeming so, Kent Haruf reveals a whole community as he interweaves the stories of a pregnant high school girl, a lonely teacher, a pair of boys abandoned by their mother, and a couple of crusty bachelor farmers. From simple elements, Haruf achieves a novel of wisdom and grace--a narrative that builds in strength and feeling until, as in a choral chant, the voices in the book surround, transport, and lift the reader off the ground." -FROM THE CITATION FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

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  • Paperback | 301 pages
  • 132.08 x 203.2 x 22.86mm | 249.47g
  • 22 Aug 2000
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Vintage Books
  • New York
  • English
  • 0375705856
  • 9780375705854
  • 48,007

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Author Information

Kent Haruf s honors include a Whiting Foundation Award, a Stegner Award, a Frank Waters Award, and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation. His novel "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 his native Colorado."

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Review quote

"A novel so foursquare, so delicate and lovely . . . it has the power to exalt the reader." --"The New York Times Book Review" "Resonant and meaningful . . . . A song of praise in honor of the lives it chronicles [and] a story about people's ability to adapt and redeem themselves, to heal the wounds of isolation by moving, gropingly and imperfectly, toward community." --Richard Tillinghast, "The Washington Post Book World" "A compelling and compassionate novel. . . . [With] his sheer assurance as a storyteller, [Mr. Haruf] has conjured up an entire community, and ineluctably immersed the reader in its dramas." --Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times" "A work as flawlessly unified as a short story by Poe or Chekhov." --Jon Hassler, "Chicago Tribune" "Haunting, virtuosic, inimitable." --Sarah Saffian, "San Francisco Chronicle" "If the novelist invents a world, then Mr. Haruf has shaped a place of enormous goodness... The story itself--spare, unsentimental, rooted in action--honors the values of the community it describes." --Lisa Michaels, "A moving look at our capacity for both pointless cruelty and simple decency, our ability to walk out of the wreckage of one family and build a stronger one where that one used to stand." --Jeff Giles, "Newsweek" "A work as flawlessly unified as a short story by Poe or Chekhov." --Jon Hassler, "Chicago Tribune"

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Flap copy

"Ambitious, but never seeming so, Kent Haruf reveals a whole community as he interweaves the stories of a pregnant high school girl, a lonely teacher, a pair of boys abandoned by their mother, and a couple of crusty bachelor farmers. From simple elements, Haruf achieves a novel of wisdom and grace--a narrative that builds in strength and feeling until, as in a choral chant, the voices in the book surround, transport, and lift the reader off the ground." -FROM THE CITATION FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

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