Browse Authors:

Kent Haruf books in order

Kent Haruf was an American multiple award-winning author of literary fiction.

Born in Pueblo, Colorado, he attended Nebraska Wesleyan University where he received a BA in English, before later joining the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where he was awarded an MFA.

Prior to venturing into writing, Haruf held many different jobs, including laboring at a chicken farm in Colorado, working at a construction site in Wyoming, and at a rehabilitation hospital in Denver.

He also served in a hospital in Phoenix, and even assisted at a presidential library in Iowa.

After serving as a member of the U.S. Peace Corps in Turkey, Haruf became a high school English teacher in Wisconsin and Colorado, before becoming a fiction writing instructor at Nebraska Wesleyan University and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

The author of novels such as Our Souls at Night (2015), and Plainsong (1999), both of which have received film adaptations, Haruf’s books have been translated into 30 languages.

He died of lung disease on 30 November 2014, aged 71.

More about Kent Haruf

Genre: Literary Fiction

Born: 1943 / Died: 2014

United States

Non Series

  • The Tie That Binds (1984)
  • Where You Once Belonged (1990)
  • Our Souls at Night (2015)


  1. Plainsong (1999)
  2. Eventide (2004)
  3. Benediction (2013)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Tie That Binds

Colorado, January 1977. Eighty-year-old Edith Goodnough lies in a hospital bed, IV taped to the back of her hand, police officer at her door. She is charged with murder. The clues: a sack of chicken feed slit with a knife, a milky-eyed dog tied outdoors one cold afternoon. 

The motives: the brutal business of farming and a family code of ethics as unforgiving as the winter prairie itself. Here, Kent Haruf delivers the sweeping tale of a woman of the American High Plains, as told by her neighbor, Sanders Roscoe. 

As Roscoe shares what he knows, Edith's tragedies unfold: a childhood of pre-dawn chores, a mother's death, a violence that leaves a father dependent on his children, forever enraged. Here is the story of a woman who sacrifices her happiness in the name of family--and then, in one gesture, reclaims her freedom.

Author: Kent Haruf
First Release: 1984
ISBN: 978-0375724381
Publisher: Vintage
Where You Once Belonged

Deftly plotted, defiantly honest, Where You Once Belonged sings the song of a wounded prairie community in a narrative with the earmarks of a modern American classic. In prose as lean and supple as a spring switch, Haruf describes a high school football star who wins the heart of the loveliest girl in the county and the admiration of men twice his age. 

Fun-loving, independent, Burdette engages in the occasional prank. But when he turns into a man, his high jinks turn into crimes--with unspeakable consequences. Now, eight years later, Burdette has returned to commit his greatest trespass of all. And the people of Holt may not be able to stop him.

Author: Kent Haruf
First Release: 1990
ISBN: 978-0375708701
Publisher: Vintage
Our Souls at Night

In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf's inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters.

Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis's wife. His daughter lives hours away, her son even farther, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in empty houses, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. But maybe that could change?

As Addie and Louis come to know each other better--their pleasures and their difficulties--a beautiful story of second chances unfolds, making Our Souls at Night the perfect final installment to this beloved writer's enduring contribution to American literature.

Our Souls at Night
Director: Ritesh Batra
Cast: Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Matthias Schoenaerts, Iain Armitage, Judy Greer, Phyllis Somerville, Bruce Dern, John C. Ashton, Randy Moore, Audrey Walters, Chantal Bushell, Myra Warren
Author: Kent Haruf
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1101911921
Publisher: Vintage



In the small town of Holt, Colorado, a high school teacher is confronted with raising his two boys alone after their mother retreats first to the bedroom, then altogether. A teenage girl—her father long since disappeared, her mother unwilling to have her in the house—is pregnant, alone herself, with nowhere to go. And out in the country, two brothers, elderly bachelors, work the family homestead, the only world they've ever known. 

From these unsettled lives emerges a vision of life, and of the town and landscape that bind them together—their fates somehow overcoming the powerful circumstances of place and station, their confusion, curiosity, dignity and humor intact and resonant. As the milieu widens to embrace fully four generations, Kent Haruf displays an emotional and aesthetic authority to rival the past masters of a classic American tradition.

Director: Richard Pearce
Cast: Aidan Quinn, Rachel Griffiths, America Ferrera, Geoffrey Lewis, William Andrews, Megan Follows, Zachery Ty Bryan, Cody Arens, Mick Hazen, Marian Seldes
Author: Kent Haruf
First Release: 1999
ISBN: 978-0375724794
Publisher: Vintage

The aging McPheron brothers are learning to live without Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they took in and who has now left their ranch to start college. A lonely young boy stoically cares for his grandfather while a disabled couple tries to protect their a violent relative. As these lives unfold and intersect, Eventide reveals Kent Haruf as a novelist of masterful authority.

Author: Kent Haruf
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-0375725760
Publisher: Vintage

When Dad Lewis is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he and his wife, Mary, must work together to make his final days as comfortable as possible. Their daughter, Lorraine, hastens back from Denver to help look after him; her devotion softens the bitter absence of their estranged son, Frank, but this cannot be willed away and remains a palpable presence for all three of them. Next door, a young girl named Alice moves in with her grandmother and contends with the painful memories that Dad's condition stirs up of her own mother's death. 

Meanwhile, the town’s newly arrived preacher attempts to mend his strained relationships with his wife and teenaged son, a task that proves all the more challenging when he faces the disdain of his congregation after offering more than they are accustomed to getting on a Sunday morning. And throughout, an elderly widow and her middle-aged daughter do everything they can to ease the pain of their friends and neighbors.

Author: Kent Haruf
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0307950420
Publisher: Vintage