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About Garrison Keillor
Photo by Prairie Home Productions [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons.
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A mysterious virus has infiltrated the good people of Lake Wobegon, transmitted via unpasteurized cheese made by a Norwegian bachelor farmer, the effect of which is episodic loss of social inhibition. Mayor Alice, Father Wilmer, Pastor Liz, the Bunsens and Krebsbachs, formerly taciturn elders, burst into political rants, inappropriate confessions, and rhapsodic proclamations, while their teenagers watch in amazement. Meanwhile, a wealthy outsider is buying up farmland for a Keep America Truckin’ motorway and amusement park, estimated to draw 2.2 million visitors a year. Clint Bunsen and Elena the hometown epidemiologist to the rescue, with a Fourth of July Living Flag and sweet corn feast for a finale.
In his newest Lake Wobegon novel, Garrison Keillor takes us back to the small prairie town where for so long American readers and listeners have found laughter as well as the wry airing of our foibles and most familiar desires and fears—a town where, as we know, "all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."
The title Good Poems comes from common literary parlance. For writers, it's enough to refer to somebody having written a good poem. Somebody else can worry about greatness. Mary Oliver's "Wild Geese" is a good poem, and so is James Wright's "A Blessing." Regular people love those poems. People read them aloud at weddings, people send them by e-mail.
Good Poems includes poems about lovers, children, failure, everyday life, death, and transcendance. It features the work of classic poets, such as Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Robert Frost, as well as the work of contemporary greats such as Howard Nemerov, Charles Bukowski, Donald Hall, Billy Collins, Robert Bly, and Sharon Olds. It's a book of poems for anybody who loves poetry whether they know it or not.
The first new Lake Wobegon novel in seven years is a cause for celebration. And Pontoon is nothing less than a spectacular return to form?replete with a bowling ball-urn, a hot-air balloon, giant duck decoys, a flying Elvis, and, most importantly, Wally?s pontoon boat. As the wedding of the decade approaches (accompanied by wheels of imported cheese and giant shrimp shish kebabs), the good-loving people of Lake Wobegon do what they do best: drive each other slightly crazy.
“A comic anatomy of what is small and ordinary and therefore potentially profound and universal in American life…Keillor’s strength as a writer is to make the ordinary extraordinary.” Chicago Tribune
“Keillor’s laughs come dear, not cheap, emerging from shared virtue and good character, from reassuring us of our neighborliness and strength….His true subject is how daily life is shot with grace. Keillor writes a prose that can be turned to laughter, to tears…to compassion or satire, to a hundred effects. He is a brilliant parodist.” San Francisco Chronicle
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 done—a 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.
* A New York Times bestseller
* Updated and revised with a new introduction for the 2006 midterm elections
* A Featured Alternate Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club
Here, readers will find solace in works that are bracing and courageous, organized into such resonant headings as "Such As It Is More or Less" and "Let It Spill." From William Shakespeare and Walt Whitman to R. S. Gwynn and Jennifer Michael Hecht, the voices gathered in this collection will be more than welcome to those who've been struck by bad news, who are burdened by stress, or who simply appreciate the power of good poetry.
This brilliant collection confirms Keillor’s reputation as an ingenious storyteller and a very funny guy.
Twelve Wobegonians fly to Rome to decorate a war hero's grave, led by Marjorie Krebsbach, with radio host Gary Keillor along for the ride. The pilgrimage is inspired by a phone call from an Italian woman seeking her Lake Wobegon roots and by a memoir O Paradiso by a farm wife who found the secret of life and love in Italy. And by marjorie's longing to win back the love of her husband Carl. Far from home, sitting in the rain in the Piazza Navona, the pilgrims talks about themselves, as they never could do in the Chatterbox Café.
"You're not going to write about this, I hope," says Irene Bunsen. "Of course I am. I invented this town," says Mr. Keillor. "Oh my, aren't you something," she replies.
Greatness comes in many forms, and as Garrison Keillor demonstrates daily on The Writer's Almanac, the most affecting poems in the canon are in plain English. Third in Keillor's series of anthologies, Good Poems, American Places brings together poems that celebrate the geography and culture that bind us together as a nation. Think of these poems as postcards from the road, by poets who've gotten carried away by a particular place-a town in Kansas, a kitchen window in Nantucket, a Manhattan street, a farm in western Minnesota. Featuring famous poets and brash unknowns alike, the verses in this exhilarating collection prove that the heart can be exalted anywhere in America.