Zenana Book Club

Kent Haruf

Kent Haruf

Kent Haruf grew up on the high plains of northeastern Colorado. He was educated at Nebraska Wesleyan University (B.A. 1965) and The University of Iowa (M.F.A. 1973). He served in the Peace Corps in Turkey, teaching English as a second language to middle school kids in a village on the Anatolian Plateau. He has held a number of jobs over the years, including working at a chicken ranch in Colorado, the Royal Gorge in the Rocky Mountains, a construction site in Wyoming, the railroad tracks in southeastern Montana, a pest control company in Kansas, a rehabilitation hospital in Denver, an orphanage in Montana, a surgery wing in a hospital in Phoenix, a presidential library in Iowa, an alternative high school in Wisconsin, a country school in Colorado, and a college in Nebraska. Since 1991, he has been at SIUC where he teaches fiction writing and forms of fiction classes to graduates and undergraduates. 

Haruf (pronounced like sheriff) is the author of three novels: The Tie That Binds (1984), the recipient of a Whiting Foundation Award and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation, Where You Once Belonged (1990), and Plainsong, a finalist for the 1999 National Book Award. Other awards include the American Library Association Distinguished Book List and the Maria Thomas Award in Fiction.

His short fiction has appeared in Puerto Del Sol, Grand Street, Prairie Schooner, and Gettysburg Review, and has been included in Best American Short Stories (1987) and Where Past Meets Present: Modern Colorado Short Stories (1993). 

Haruf lives with his wife, Cathy, in Colorado and Illinois.

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