Thursday, August 19, 2021

Kent Haruf: shedworker

Novelist Kent Haruf (Plainsong, Eventide, Benediction) wrote in a fairly straightforward writing shed at his home in Colorado (he is pictured top in front of it, and above is an interior shot) and it was here that he wrote his final book, Our Souls at Night as well as Benediction. There is an excellent piece about Haruf (and the shed) by Chris Outcalt at 5280 Magazine. Here's a snippet:

One step past the doorway of Kent Haruf’s writing shed and everything feels close. The back wall is less than eight feet away, and I can almost reach out and touch the walls on either side of me. The interior walls are draped with mismatched bedsheets, which are tacked to the beams of the structure, concealing a thick layer of insulation. Some of the sheets are pale blue and others are the color of lima beans.

Just to the left of the entryway, there is a small bookcase overflowing with old books. Many of the book jackets have faded and the corners are worn and there are distinct creases along the spines. The top shelf is taken up almost entirely by stories written by Faulkner, and a third of the way down, I notice a short story collection that includes The Bear. Kent’s desk spans most of the length of the back wall; it’s a light wooden desk with three drawers. There is a lamp in the far corner, and a brown suede chair. A large bull skull hangs from a nail to the left of the desk. Cathy told me Kent had hung the skull in his workspace as a reminder to not write bullshit.


Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.


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