Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Garrison Keillor: A Born Writer

Garrison Keillor, known most for A Prairie Home Companion, is also an accomplished writer.

As a young man, Garrison Keillor pursued writing because his parents disallowed music and dance. He was raised in a strict, conservative Christian environment. But, he said, his childhood was happy, even though he later left the Plymouth Brethren, to which his family belonged.

In a UK Guardian interview, Keillor said, I did grow up among fundamentalist people whose theology was very stark and absolute. But to their own children and relatives they were nothing but kind and generous and being among Christian people meant that cruelty was profoundly repressed. When outsiders look at this upbringing they look at the long list of prohibitions. But none of that bothers you as a child. You never went to movies or dances and so it seemed a perfectly reasonable way to grow up."

  Instead of the vagaries of modern entertainment that the Keillor family forbade, young Gary Edward Keillor took up writing as a hobby, and has written prolifically since.

  Keillor did begin a career in radio, during his college career as an English major at the University of Minnesota in the sixties. However, he began writing for the New Yorker, first as a freelance, and then full-time in the late 1960s and continued for years.

  It was only after writing a story about the Grand Ole Opry for The New Yorker, that Keillor imagined the present format for his own radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, in the mid 70s.

  Along with writing for the show, Keillor has published over 100 works, from Novels to newspaper articles. He is a syndicated columnist as well, appearing in newspapers across the country. And his Lake Wobegon tales have grasped quite a following.

  Even though Keillor’s works may not be as strictly Christian as his parents before him, Keillor has graced the world with great literary works, having a literary following some compare to Mark Twain’s.

  "I've wanted to be a writer since I was a boy, though it seemed an unlikely outcome since I showed no real talent. But I persevered and eventually found my own row to hoe. Ignorance of other writers' work keeps me from discouragement and I am less well-read than the average bus driver." – Garrison Keillor


No comments:

Post a Comment