Following in the footsteps of Wallace Stegner, the "Dean of Western Writers," takes a big pair of shoes. Though we don't know what size award-winning Colorado author Kent Haruf wears, we do know that his literary prowess is deserving of the Wallace Stegner Award, given annually by CU-Boulder's Center of the American West to an individual whose work evokes the cultural identity of the West.
Best known for his novels Plainsong and Eventide, which tell the saga of the aging McPheron brothers and the circle of human drama that surrounds them in a small town on the Colorado plains (not unlike the place where the author grew up), Haruf exemplifies the criteria with grace and style. And this award makes us wonder, again, how his books have been overlooked by programs such as One Book, One Denver.
Haruf will accept the Stegner honor tonight at 7 p.m. in the Wittemyer Courtroom of the Wolf Law Building on the University of Colorado Boulder campus; the event is free and the author will sign books at a reception following the ceremony. For details, visit the CAW website.
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