WYSO

The Best of the Book Nook: A Conversation With Kent Haruf About "Plainsong"

Jul 14, 2016

Kent Haruf was one of the great American novelists that you might have never heard about. Haruf took a long time writing his books and he didn't even get published until late in life. His first book "The Tie that Binds" came out in 1984. That was followed in 1990 by "Where You Once Belonged." That second book only took him six years to write but he felt like he had to rush because he needed the money. He was so unhappy with it that before it even came out he wrote his editor a letter delineating all the flaws he felt were in it.

Haruf's third book, 'Plainsong," came out in 1999. That was the book that brought this author his first significant critical attention and financial success. The following year when it came out in paperback I had him on the program. Haruf didn't write many books and he rarely gave interviews. It was the only opportunity I ever had to speak with him. "Plainsong" is a magical story and Haruf was an amazing writer. He died in 2014.

The Book Nook on WYSO is made possible by six local library systems in southwest Ohio:  the Greene County Public LibraryWashington-Centerville Public Library, MidPointe Library SystemClark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.