First with his performances on Minnesota Public Radio's Prairie Home Companion and later in his books, Garrison Keillor has become a symbol of the small-town Midwest -- its absurdities, its stoutness, and its warmth. His popular, funny stories set in Lake Wobegon manage to evoke nostalgia for a town that never existed.
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Also Known As:
Gary Edward Keillor (real name)
St. Paul, Minnesota
Date of Birth:
August 7, 1942
Place of Birth:
B.A., University of Minnesota, 1966
Grammy for best spoken-word album, 1987; National Humanities Medal, 1999
|Keillor's Latest||Selected Works|
|Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon|
In Keillor's first Wobegon fiction since Lake Wobegon Summer 1956, we meet Evelyn, a good church-going Lutheran. Only after she dies in her sleep do we find out that she has been living a secret life. She's been in love with Raoul, a Las Vegas man who took her dancing and showed her the joys of life outside Lake Wobegon. Then, there's her daughter, Barbara, who struggles with her drinking and, inspired by her mother's unconventional life, decides to dry out and thumb her nose at the Wobegon establishment by carrying out Evelyn's final wish: to be cremated and have her ashes scattered over Lake Wobegon from a pontoon boat. Also we meet Debbie Detmer, a veterinary aromatherapy millionaire, who has returned home to Wobegon with her troubled, uncommitted fiancé. But the plans for a Pontoon boat wedding, with the hot air balloon hauling a singing Elvis in for the finale, go terribly wrong.
Lake Wobegon Days (1985)|
We Are Still Married: Stories and Letters (1989)
The Book of Guys: Stories (1993)
Wobegon Boy (1997)
Lake Wobegon Summer 1956 (2001)
Love Me (2003)
Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts from the Heart of America (2004)
Good Poems for Hard Times (2005)
A Prairie Home Companion (2006)
Pontoon: A Lake Wobegon Novel (2007)
Garrison Keillor chronology
|The Best Book to Read First|
|Lake Wobegon Days|
A perfect introductory look at Keillor's beloved American Everytown, where, as Keillor puts it, "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average."
|Keillor for Children||Jesse Ventura's Least Favorite Book|
|The Old Man Who Loved Cheese|
Garrison B. Keillor
In this story for grade-schoolers, Keillor's at his silliest -- though it's arguable that diet-conscious adults might appreciate it the most. Wallace P. Flynn's fondness for putrid cheese soon gets him in trouble with his family, his neighbors, and the cheese brigade. In the pre-teen-targeted Sandy Bottom Orchestra, a girl seeks refuge from her worries in music.
|Me By Jimmy (Big Boy) Valente|
Garrison B. Keillor
"Pink Boas, Spangly Tights, Dangly Earrings, and now Governor of Minnesota--WHAT A GUY!," Keillor's satire exclaims. Word is that the professional wrestler/politician Jesse Ventura was reportedly not laughing -- but it makes for a funny spoof of reality.
|Photo by Cheryl Walsh Belville||