Kent Haruf, 71, who wrote Plainsong and several other highly praised novels set in small-town Colorado, died Sunday after a battle with cancer.

His editor at Knopf, Gary Fisketjon, said Mr. Haruf's final novel, Our Souls at Night, would be published next year.

Mr. Haruf was the author of several novels set in the fictional town of Holt. His 1999 novel, Plainsong, was a finalist for the National Book Award. His most recent novel was Benediction (2013).

The current issue of Granta concludes with an essay by Mr. Haruf. He begins in 1943 with his birth with a cleft lip, which was only partially corrected by surgery: "The surgeon was supposed to do more work on my lip and nose, but he died in a plane crash and my parents took that as a sign of God's will."

- Washington Post