On Kent Haruf's "Our Souls at Night": The Last Waltz in Holt, Colorado

So I felt a mixture of sadness and readerly pleasure upon opening Kent Haruf’s final, posthumous novel, Our Souls at Night, to be published by Knopf this month. I first encountered Haruf’s fiction in 1999, when I was assigned his novel Plainsong to review for the Houston Chronicle. Ever since then I’ve read all of Haruf’s fiction, with perhaps Eventide (2004) being my favorite. I also had the good fortune to come to know Haruf, as I live in Colorado about an hour south of where he had a house near Salida. He was a soft-spoken, kind man, who worked as a teacher for many years, and, when I met him, was retired. He confessed to me that he was glad to be done with it. One of the main characters of Plainsong is a teacher, as is Louis Waters, the (retired) hero of Our Souls at Night.
Simply put, it’s a terrific book—understated, lyrical and deft—focusing on the lives of people who are often overlooked in the world, the denizens of a small town on the eastern plains of Colorado. I reviewed it for the Dallas Morning News, and will post my review here when it appears, in a couple weeks I would guess. Meanwhile fans of Haruf’s fiction should know that they won’t be disappointed wit this new novel. To me it’s better than Benediction (2013), his most recent novel before this.

This entry was posted in books/film, The West, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *