The recent deaths of Leon Satterfield and Bill Kloefkorn, and the earlier death of Harold Hall, mark the sad passing of the old guard for me.
I went to Nebraska Wesleyan in 1961 thinking I’d be a biology teacher, but when I came under the influence of these three men, and took classes from them, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life studying literature, and maybe some day trying to write a little of my own.
They also changed the way I looked at the world, generally, and changed how I thought about religion and politics and civil rights and how I regarded government. They were my teachers and my mentors, and they changed my life.
I feel gratefully beyond words, to have known them.
Haruf’s 1999 novel Plainsong was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the New Yorker Book Award.