The Keillor Reader

The Keillor Reader

The Keillor Reader is a wonderful, personal collection of stories, essays, poems, and personal reminiscences that Garrison Keillor has written throughout his career. It includes monologues from A Prairie Home Companion, stories from The New Yorker and The Atlantic, excerpts from novels and newspaper columns, and pieces never before published. It also has extensive introductions, explaining why each piece was chosen and originally written, plus photographs and memorabilia.

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Read Garrison’s introduction to The Keillor Reader

From the Publisher:

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.”

Listen to “Chickens,” a monologue from September 13, 1986:

Read other excerpts:


Rules of Orchestra



Autographed hardcover

Download for iBooks

Download for Kindle


“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.”
Kirkus Reviews

“40 years of stories and poems by Minnesota’s favorite yarn spinner”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“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.”
— 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.”
— 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.”
— Chicago Tribune

More 40th Anniversary products from A Prairie Home Companion:

A Prairie Home Companion’s 40th Anniversary Collection

Lake Wobegon Family Reunion

40th Anniversary Shirts

40th Anniversary Hat