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26 March 2014 @ 04:42 pm
Garrison Keillor: A New Book  


Those of you who know me know that Garrison Keillor is one of most favorite author, ever. (That is why, I never use his name as a security question of "What is the name of your favorite author".) Anyway, it's been a while since I posted anything, let alone about Garrison Keillor. I am really excited because I learned recently that he is due to have another book published in May of this year: Garrison Keillor Reader.  This book will be about stories, essays, poems, and personal reminiscences from this Lake Wobegon saga. One of my most favorite form of reading material is reading essays. Long before blogging was popularized, essays were in vogue. I think as an essayist Keillor is superb. He is a great storyteller, but I prefer to hear him tell the stories rather than read it. So this book will be absolutely up my alley. Amazon is preselling the book. And guess what? I prebought the hardcopy (I need a Keillor hardcopy to perhaps get him to autograph it) and the Kindle edition as well.

I also just saw an article in which Keillor was interviewed via phone. Here's an excerpt:

This new collection has some longish memoiristic essays in it,” Keillor explained over the phone from St. Paul last week. “I’ve written about my mother, and what a cheerful person she was up until the end. Cheerfulness was something she really believed in, being a child of the Depression. I’d never really written memoir; I transmogrified it all into Lake Wobegon. So this is kind of exciting.”

The Keillor Reader combines some of the writer’s best poems, essays, and Prairie Home Companion monologues alongside previously unpublished material. Among the latter is an essay titled, “What We Have Learned So Far.” I asked Keillor for a hint as to that essay’s contents.

“It’s a list,” he explained. “I don’t think I’ve ever written a list before. I’ve sort of disparaged lists in the past, you know: 15 Ways to Strengthen Your Abs, or 24 Ways to Cook Sauerkraut. But a list seemed to be the natural form for these pieces of scattered wisdom that at the age of 70 I thought I should write down. I asked myself, ‘What do I have to tell people that they ought to know?’ Things like: Tall people cannot depend on short people to look out for things that we might bump our heads on. We have to take care of this ourselves.”

Keillor’s caricatures of small town Minnesota serve to define that region for many coastal dwellers, but when asked to turn his keen eye for cultural tics on Santa Barbara, Keillor demurred at first.

“I know nothing whatsoever,” he claimed before adding, “The young people I know in California are extremely bright, and they’re also athletic. They run, they surf, they rollerblade, and yet they can sit own and read James Joyce’s Ulysses. Growing up in the Midwest, there was this division: Either you were a jock or you were a brain. I think that in California, young people discovered for the first time that you could be both."

I get a feeling that, as Keillor is "appearing alongside his longtime collaborator, pianist Richard Dworsky, in an evening of stories, music, skits, and unusually personal material from his forthcoming book," he will be doing to the same countrywide. I have to keep an eye as to when (if at all) he'll be coming my way.

*~Kristen*~: Stock - Girl with Booksaries11 on March 27th, 2014 02:18 pm (UTC)
I've never read any Garrison Keillor, but I know lots of people who are big fans of his. My sister is one of them.
Spicedogs: GKCartoonspicedogs on March 28th, 2014 08:58 pm (UTC)
I like his essays best of all. And, most of all, I love to hear him tell his neverending stories. They are so funny. He is such a good storyteller.
~Lirpa~: Books: Antskatje0711 on March 28th, 2014 07:23 pm (UTC)
Sounds like something you can really look forward to.
Spicedogs: Yayspicedogs on March 28th, 2014 08:59 pm (UTC)
You know I do.