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[Canceled] Kent Haruf: Benediction

It would be a gross oversimplification to say that Kent Haruf’s new novel, Benediction, is about life in a small Western town. Because while the setting is crucial to the way the story unfolds, it’s about something more compelling in its specificity: the way a sense of moral black & white plays out in the complicated lives of %u2028fallible people.

The plot revolves around the rural Colorado community where 70-something “Dad” Lewis is facing a terminal-cancer diagnosis. As his wife and his adult daughter try to help him through his final months, Dad wrestles with the decisions of his past, including the ones that have estranged him from his son for years. Meanwhile, the town’s new minister continues to face the consequences of his own interpretation of Christianity, and Dad’s never-married neighbor reflects on the long-ago romance that seemed to be her one chance at happiness.

Haruf explores these characters in a laconic voice characteristic of Western writers like Cormac McCarthy, yet he’s not out to paint a gritty portrait of unforgiving country. Instead, he paints a landscape in which the inhabitants know only one way of looking at the world and cling to those perspectives even when they might alienate folks from one another. Yet Haruf compassionately captures their attempts to make peace with their mistakes and with those they’ve wronged.

Join the author for a special event that includes a VIP reception, with all proceeds benefiting the University of Utah Environmental Humanities Graduate Program’s Visiting Scholars fund. (Scott Renshaw)

Date: Mar 20, 2013
Time: 5 pm
Phone: 801-484-9100
Address: 1511 South 1500 East, Salt Lake City , 84105
Where: The King's English Bookshop