Stories, essays, poems, and personal reminiscences from the sage of Lake Wobegon
When, at thirteen, he caught on as a sportswriter for the Anoka Herald, Garrison Keillor set out to become a professional writer, and so he has donea storyteller, sometime comedian, essayist, newspaper columnist, screenwriter, poet. Now a single volume brings together the full range of his work: monologues from A Prairie Home Companion, stories from The New Yorker and The Atlantic, excerpts from novels, newspaper columns. With an extensive introduction and headnotes, photographs, and memorabilia, The Keillor Reader also presents pieces never before published, including the essays Cheerfulness” and What We Have Learned So Far.”
Keillor is the founder and host of A Prairie Home Companion, celebrating its fortieth anniversary in 2014. He is the author of nineteen books of fiction and humor, the editor of the Good Poems collections, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
About the Author
Garrison Keillor is a Minnesota native living in St. Paul and New York City.
Praise for The Keillor Reader…
Praise for The Keillor Reader:
“Our bard of small-town melancholy and nostalgia . . . Keillor is terrific, as always, at describing man’s ability to wince in the face of hardship or boredom. Also winning in this book are the behind-the-scenes glimpses that Keillor gives us of ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ . . . one is moved to beam back at Keillor the amount of charity he has beamed at all his characters.”
— The New York Times
“Wry, wistful, nostalgic . . . by turns cheerful and fatalistic, homespun and outrageous.” —Chicago Tribune “Keillor spin[s] his entire life experience into tales that may be fantastical but are always . . . true to life . . . honoring it, in all its wild permutations and possibilities. . . . This gem of a book will resuscitate you.”
—Minneapolis StarTribune “What really appeal[s] about Garrison's work[s] . . . is that they're so human . . . so wonderfully specific and funny that they become universal, and manage to move across generations.” —MinnPost “Heir to Mark Twain, James Thurber and E. B. White, Keillor offers more than laconic, sometimes-rueful, reports from the fictional Midwestern town of Lake Wobegon. Besides selected Prairie Home Companion monologues—written in an adrenaline rush on the morning of each show—this collection contains poetry, fiction and assorted essays, each introduced by autobiographical musings. . . . Lovely.”
Praise for Garrison Keillor:
“Keillor is very clearly a genius. His range and stamina alone are incredible—after 30 years, he rarely repeats himself—and he has the genuine wisdom of a Cosby or Mark Twain. He's consistently funny about Midwestern fatalism . . . and he's a masterful storyteller.”
—Sam Anderson, Slate
"Keillor has always been a great cataloger, equal parts Homer and Montgomery Ward, . . . as aware of life's betrayals and griefs as [he] is of the grace notes and buffooneries that leaven everyday existence. Keillor's Lake Wobegon books have become a set of synoptic gospels, full of wistfulness and futility yet somehow spangled with hope."
—Thomas Mallon, New York Times Book Review
"A literary cartographer would find it necessary to trace, in forceful blue lines, tributary streams running from Mark Twain and Sherwood Anderson to the Wobegonian river of stories and novels that has issued from Garrison Keillor for more than 20 years."