Benediction

Kent Haruf, Author
Kent Haruf. Knopf, $25.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-307-95988-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-385-36363-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-385-36361-7
Open Ebook - 194 pages - 978-0-307-96215-7
Library Binding - 343 pages - 978-1-61173-806-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-21933-5
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-1-4472-2972-8
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-8041-7274-5
Hardcover - 257 pages - 978-1-4472-2753-3
Paperback - 257 pages - 978-0-307-95042-0
Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-4472-2754-0
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In Holt, the fictional Colorado town where all of Haruf’s novels are set, longtime resident Dad Lewis is dying of cancer. Happily married (he calls his wife “his luck”), Dad spends his last weeks thinking over his life, particularly an incident that ended badly with a clerk in his store, and his relationship with his estranged son. As his wife and daughter care for him, life goes on: one of the Lewises’ neighbors takes in her young granddaughter; an elderly woman and her middle-aged daughter visit with the Lewises, with each other, and with the new minister, whose wife and son are unhappy about his transfer to Holt from Denver. Haruf isn’t interested in the trendy or urban; as he once said, he writes about “regular, ordinary, sort of elemental” characters, who speak simply and often don’t speak much at all. “Regular and ordinary” can equate with dull. However, though this is a quiet book, it’s not a boring one. Dad and his family and neighbors try, in small, believable ways, to make peace with those they live among, to understand a world that isn’t the one in which they came of age. Separately and together, all the characters are trying to live—and in Dad’s case, to die—with dignity, a struggle Haruf (Eventide) renders with delicacy and skill. Agent: Nancy Stauffer Cahoon, Nancy Stauffer Associates. (Feb.)
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