‘suspended dust’ Plainsong – Kent Haruf

wordsofmercury

plainsong-978033039314006

Plainsong—the unisonous vocal music used in the Christian Church from the earliest times; any simple and unadorned melody or air

Kent Haruf’s simple and unadorned epigraph announces the kind of book that one is about to read. Plainsong – vocal music that expresses and explores desolation, joy, creation, and death as a form of celebration, memorial, and call to prayer and contemplation. It is no accident this novel is a song that points to both the internal and the external, to the immediate and the transcendent, in the manner of the Colorado plains stretching into the distance.

Here was this man Tom Guthrie in Holt standing at the back window in the kitchen of his house smoking cigarettes and looking out over the back lot where the sun was coming up.

Haruf’s apparently simple set of interlocking stories of the residents of Holt, Colorado set up resonances and symmetries that…

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