Kent Haruf’s novels are set in the fictional town of Holt on the eastern plains of Colorado. His 1999 novel Plainsong was a finalist for the National Book Award. Haruf’s father was a Methodist minister in Colorado, and Haruf has often drawn on that legacy in his fiction. Only in his latest novel, Benediction, has a minister been a central character in his fiction.
Can you tell us about growing up as the son of a Methodist minister in the West?
Until I was about 12 years old, we lived in three little towns in eastern Colorado. In each town, my father was the preacher at the only Methodist church in town.
My dad was a country man. He fit in wonderfully in those little towns; people loved him. When he was in college, they called him Lovable Louie, because he was such a joyful man.