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About the Book


The questions, discussion topics, and suggested reading list that follow are intended to enhance your group's reading of Kent Haruf's Plainsong. We hope they will provide you with new angles from which to approach and discuss this powerful tale of seven lonely lives set on the stark but beautiful High Plains of Colorado.

In the small town of Holt, Tom Guthrie, a high school teacher, fights to keep his life together and to raise his two boys after their depressed mother first retreats into her bedroom, and then moves away to her sister's house. The boys, not yet adolescents, struggle to make sense of adult behavior and their mother's apparent abandonment. A pregnant teenage girl, kicked out by her mother and rejected by the father of her child, searches for a secure place in the world. And far out in the country, two elderly bachelor brothers work the family farm as they have their entire lives, all but isolated from life beyond their own community. 

From these separate strands emerges a vision of life--and of the community and landscape that bind them together--that is both luminous and enduring.Plainsong is a story of the abandonment, grief, and stoicism that bring these people together, and it is a story of the kindness, hope, and dignity that redeem their lives. Utterly true to the rhythms and patterns of life,Plainsong is an American classic: a novel to care about, believe in, and learn from.

by Kent Haruf

  • Publication Date: August 22, 2000
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN-10: 0375705856
  • ISBN-13: 9780375705854