A Christmas Blizzard — 2009

A Christmas Blizzard is the story of James Sparrow who dreads the holiday and the poignant memories it dredges up and who longs to spend December in Hawaii. But his wife adores Christmas and cannot bear to miss it. A phone call from cousin Liz in James’s hometown of Looseleaf, N.D. — his uncle Earl is dying — brings James out of the doldrums and he flies to Looseleaf just in time to be snowed in by a major blizzard. There is a ghost, a wise man of San Francisco, a genial uncle, an undercover FBI agent, a steamy sauna scene, and the singing of Christmas carols. And several feet of snow.”
— Garrison Keillor

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Writing

Books

A complete lists of works, including sample excerpts

Columns

From the New York Times, Time magazine, and the complete Chicago Tribune syndicated columns

Prose

Stories from The New Yorker and other magazines and a few lectures

Sonnets

Sonnets of praise, some erotic, some lamentations, and some street sonnets

Verse

Poems on topics both serious and not-so-serious

Video

Videos from readings, interviews, solo shows and more

Radio

Albums

A complete list of radio and audiobook collections, with audio samples

Audio

Speeches, interviews, readings and other audio clips

Songs

Audio and lyrics for songs featured on A Prairie Home Companion.

The News from Lake Wobegon

The latest news and views from the little town where "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average"

A Prairie Home Companion Love & Comedy Tour Solo The Gratitude Tour

January 27, 2016

Wednesday

7:30 p.m.

Houston, TX

Houston, TX

A live performance with Richard Dworsky at Jones Hall

January 28, 2016

Thursday

8:00 p.m.

Richardson, TX

Richardson, TX

A live performance with Richard Dworsky at the Charles W. Eisemann Center

January 31, 2016

Sunday

7:00 p.m.

Newark, NJ

Newark, NJ

A live performance with Richard Dworsky at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center

February 1, 2016

Monday

8:00 p.m.

New York City, NY

New York City, NY

A live performance at the 92nd Street Y

February 14, 2016

Sunday

3:00 p.m.

Omaha, NE

Omaha, NE

A live performance with Richard Dworsky at the Holland Performing Arts Center

A Christmas Blizzard is the story of James Sparrow who dreads the holiday and the poignant memories it dredges up and who longs to spend December in Hawaii. But his wife adores Christmas and cannot bear to miss it. A phone call from cousin Liz in James’s hometown of Looseleaf, N.D. — his uncle Earl is dying — brings James out of the doldrums and he flies to Looseleaf just in time to be snowed in by a major blizzard. There is a ghost, a wise man of San Francisco, a genial uncle, an undercover FBI agent, a steamy sauna scene, and the singing of Christmas carols. And several feet of snow.”
— Garrison Keillor

Download an excerpt →

Purchase A Christmas Blizzard

Writing

Dreadful things are afoot

I am a registered liberal who mostly toes the party line, but I am not devoted to the idea of big government. I loathe the law in New York state requiring gas pump nozzles to not latch. This means that I must stand beside my vehicle, holding the nozzle lever open, instead of latching it and walking into the gas station to use the john which, if you’re an older male and hear gushing liquid, you feel a powerful urge to do, so thanks to legislative overregulation, I am on the verge of humiliating myself.

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Taking a break from the news

The sign by my seat said, “Fasten seatbelt whilst seated,” so clearly it was a British airline. My daughter and wife were alongside me and we were off to Europe for a break from the news. Our mad king had essentially been indicted in sworn testimony, and he claimed vindication and offered to testify under oath, forgetting the one he’d taken in January. Crazy times; it’s good to go away.

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What’s the big deal about Paris?

No sensuous pleasure can compare to the thrill of righteousness, and when the poor schlump stood in the Rose Garden and read his speech about America victimized by the crafty Europeans and the treacherous Chinese who designed the Paris accords, he could not have imagined the uproar he would cause. Moments later, everybody to the left of Jabba the Hutt was shaking their fists as if he had stuck his hand up under the Statue of Liberty’s gown. Birds shrieked from the trees, small dogs growled, even heinous criminals looked upon him with loathing.

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It was so nice to have him gone

It was a great relief to have Mr. Twitter out of the country for nine whole days, and the entire country felt it, like when your neighbor with the busted muffler goes away for a while and takes his yappy dog with him, and you realize what a beautiful thing common civility can be. We were able to turn to the joys of life and forget the absurdities for a while.

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Get Washington’s statues off their high horses

Forgive me if I don’t think the removal of Confederate statuary is an issue. I call it decluttering, which is an ongoing project at my house and I hope at yours too. When those crews are done down South, put them to work in Washington. The Frenchman L’Enfant (the name means “immature”) who laid out the streets in this swamp had grandiose ideas, as anyone knows who has attempted to navigate in the capital, diagonal boulevards laid against a grid, which created numerous odd squares and irrelevant circles which, of course, required large equestrian statues to ennoble them, and so you have Thomas Circle at 14th Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW named for Gen. George Thomas, who fought at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863. But does this give him a permanent right to loom over us in 2017 and obstruct traffic and cause honking and obscene gesturing? A whole circle devoted to this small historical footnote and how many thousands of children have pointed to him and asked, “Who is he?” and their parents were clueless and thus authority is undermined, trust is eroded, the family is weakened, our children grow up rootless and liable to fall for crackpots and demagogues.

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Flying in the floating in New York

Here’s what they say in New York — Donald J. Trump is a grandstander, a showboat. Not doing his job. Totally incompetent. The White House has been in turmoil for months. You know that, I know that. Everybody knows that. So what are we talking about? Enough about him. Who needs an investigation? Guy is a total loser. Tell me something I don’t know.

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Republicans abandon their virtues to stand behind Donald Trump and clap

For all the fireworks of the French election, please note that Marine Le Pen gave a simple elegant concession speech, congratulating the winner and thanking her supporters and campaign workers. She did not claim voter fraud or a media conspiracy or accuse the government of tapping her phone. She is, after all, French. Liberty, equality, dignity.

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Late-night driving, right-hand thinking

All last week I got to drive around Minnesota late at night, drifting through the little towns, just me and the truckers out on the road and Merle and George and Emmylou on the radio. I was doing a little dog-and-pony show around my home state, and I like driving at night. Less traffic, more romance. You look ahead down the open road and you’re no longer an old retired guy in a suit and tie, you’re a Woody Guthrie song, you’re a man on the run, you’re the perpetrator of the biggest art heist in years, with Hopper’s “Nighthawks” under a blanket in the backseat along with “American Gothic” and six Jackson Pollocks. It’s a big backseat.

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Donald Trump’s fantastically tremendous first 100 days

My first 100 days as Numero Uno have been fantastically tremendous as we begin to make progress to clean up the mess that I inherited. Terrorism, crumbling infrastructure, public television (so boring), China, the war on coal, political correctness, people we have no idea who they are coming into this country, the whole deal. You’d never know this if you watch MSNBC or CNN, which — and we have proof of this — are owned by the man who owns The New York Times, Famous Ray’s Pizza, some check-cashing establishments, and that bunch of losers, the New York Knicks. Sad!

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Alaska is a state that one remembers long afterward

Up to Alaska last week to visit old friends and relive fragrant memories of previous trips. Landing on a short uphill grass strip near a native village and later taking off on that strip and off the edge of a cliff. Fishing in a fjord near Juneau as a dark enormity rolled up from the deep, a humpback 30 feet off starboard. Encountering a moose while biking around Anchorage. Sitting in a friendly cafe in Sitka that felt like family. Hiking the Iditarod trail and seeing the body of a moose who broke through the ice of a lake and drowned. Going to the state fair in Palmer and mingling with Alaskans in a state of euphoria produced by sunlight.

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Radio
The News from Lake Wobegon for May 27, 2017

The News from Lake Wobegon for May 27, 2017

“It’s been warm out here, been in the 80s, so we were very grateful for this big thunderstorm that came along on Tuesday night. Big shards of lightning splitting the sky sure gets everybody’s attention.” The Lutheran Church search committee looks for a replacement for Pastor Inqvist, caterpillars take over the sidewalks, and Irene Bunsen calls into a radio station at 3:30 in the morning, a monologue originally from May 2010.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for May 20, 2017

The News from Lake Wobegon for May 20, 2017

“The weather’s just been gorgeous. It was warm this last week, it was up in the 80s. There was a little bit of rain, not enough, but there’s never enough.” The Whippets win a few games with the help of young pitcher “Whiplash” Wilson, garage sale season begins, the Larson boy gets a job at Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery, and a bat invades Lake Wobegon Lutheran Church and frightens Pastor Haugen, in a May 2014 monologue.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for May 13, 2017

The News from Lake Wobegon for May 13, 2017

“It’s been cool here this last week, actually ‘cold’ I think would be a better term for it — and it snowed. But it’s only the first week of May and precipitation comes in many different forms.” Cool weather temporarily rids the town of insects, Carl Krebsbach becomes a spectacle after being covered in plum blossoms during a storm, and the Lutheran Church searches for a replacement for Pastor Ham, in a monologue from May 2010.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for May 6, 2017

The News from Lake Wobegon for May 6, 2017

“It was warm and kind of windy all week and we got this terrific thunderstorm on Wednesday, which was a great boon, to get washed off like that.” Fishing season begins and fishermen return to their pursuit of famous walleye Old Pete, Luann cuts her hair very short, the town analyzes photos of Pastor Liz in Rome, and Pastor Haugen irritates his secretary Marlene, a monologue from May 2014.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for April 29, 2017

The News from Lake Wobegon for April 29, 2017

“It’s been kind of cool, sunny but windy out there, and the other day a little snow fell, just a few flakes. We ignored it. We did not comment on it.” Bridal shower season arrives, Darlene invites three suitors to the Sidewinder Bar in Millet, and Arlene Bunsen counsels her goddaughter Charlotte against taking up the trombone, in a monologue from April 2015.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for April 22, 2017

The News from Lake Wobegon for April 22, 2017

“Spring has come out awfully certainly there. Just about two weeks ago there was still ice on the lake and now this past week it got up into the 90s. People running around in shorts, t-shirts.” Carl Krebsbach’s brother-in-law attempts to assemble a garden tiller, high school students prepare for life after graduation, and Mary Tollefson looks into modeling school, in a monologue from April 2002.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for April 15, 2017

The News from Lake Wobegon for April 15, 2017

“Getting warm up there, getting up into the 60s and even thinking about getting up into the 70s so it’s been very pleasant — and no snow fell this last week.” The town celebrates the 1st of May, and a few memories of post-prom parties at the Bunsens’ cabin, in a monologue from May 2015.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for April 8, 2017

The News from Lake Wobegon for April 8, 2017

“It’s spring, spring out there, which, in the case of Minnesota, means there’s a little more snow forecast. About eight inches of snow, some places 10 inches, fell.” Farmers prepare for spring planting after a successful year, the town takes a break for Easter Vacation, and Darlene meets a man on Match.com, a monologue originally from April 2008.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for April 1, 2017

The News from Lake Wobegon for April 1, 2017

“We’ve had wind and snow and rain and cold rain and a little snow, that melting snow, and then wind some more. It’s spring we know that now, even if it’s a little chilly.” Darlene has an epiphany while out for an Easter morning walk, Carl Krebsbach feeds a flock of Tundra Swans out on the lake, Viola Tors attends a clothing-optional Lutheran church in Palm Beach, in an April 2016 monologue.

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The News from Lake Wobegon for March 25, 2017

The News from Lake Wobegon for March 25, 2017

“Had some nice days here this last week. It wasn’t too terribly cold. The sun was shining.” Lyle teaches high school students about the vernal equinox, the town’s old men discuss modern cars, and the last of the rhubarb gets made into pies at the Chatterbox Cafe, in a monologue from March 1997.

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A Prairie Home Companion Love & Comedy Tour Solo The Gratitude Tour
Schedule

July 21, 2017

Friday

8:15 p.m.

Chautauqua, NY

Chautauqua, NY

A live performance at the Chautauqua Institution

August 8, 2017

Tuesday

7:30 p.m.

Appleton, WI

Appleton, WI

Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Love & Comedy Tour — A live performance at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

August 9, 2017

Wednesday

7:00 p.m.

Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids, MI

Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Love & Comedy Tour — A live performance at the Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI

August 10, 2017

Thursday

7:30 p.m.

Cedar Rapids, IA

Cedar Rapids, IA

Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Love & Comedy Tour — A live performance at the McGrath Amphitheatre in Cedar Rapids, IA

August 11, 2017

Friday

7:30 p.m.

Sioux Falls, SD

Sioux Falls, SD

Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Love & Comedy Tour — A live performance at the The Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, SD

August 12, 2017

Saturday

7:30 p.m.

Lincoln, NE

Lincoln, NE

Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Love & Comedy Tour — A live performance at the Pinewood Bowl Theater in Lincoln, NE

August 13, 2017

Sunday

6:30 p.m.

Denver, CO

Denver, CO

Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Love & Comedy Tour — A live performance at the Denver Botanic Gardens in Denver, CO

August 14, 2017

Monday

7:00 p.m.

Aspen, CO

Aspen, CO

Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Love & Comedy Tour — A live performance at the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, CO

August 16, 2017

Wednesday

7:30 p.m.

Spokane, WA

Spokane, WA

Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Love & Comedy Tour — A live performance at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox in Spokane, WA

August 17, 2017

Thursday

6:00 p.m.

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Love & Comedy Tour — A live performance at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA

Press/Clips
Press photo #2

Press photo #2

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Press photo #1

Press photo #1

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CBS Sunday Morning — Garrison Keillor signs off — June 26, 2016

CBS Sunday Morning — Garrison Keillor signs off — June 26, 2016

A profile of Garrison as he prepares to retire from A Prairie Home Companion

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Poems of Gratitude: The Fourth Annual Common Good Books Poetry Contest

Garrison and Common Good Books are sponsoring a poetry contest! Pour your love onto the page, shape it well, and mail your love letter to Common Good Books before April 15 — fame and fortune could be yours.

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Blank on Blank — Garrison Keillor on Humor — December 15, 2015

Blank on Blank — Garrison Keillor on Humor — December 15, 2015

An animated short taken from Garrison’s 1994 interview with George Plimpton

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The National Press Club — 5/22/2015

The National Press Club — 5/22/2015

Garrison spoke at the National Press Club on May 22, 2015

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The Late Late Show — 6/4/2014

The Late Late Show — 6/4/2014

Garrison visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson to discuss The Keillor Reader

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C-SPAN: 1999 Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner

C-SPAN: 1999 Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner

Garrison talks about civility in an address to the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner in Washington D.C.

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CBS This Morning: 40 years of A Prairie Home Companion: Behind Garrison Keillor’s success

CBS This Morning: 40 years of A Prairie Home Companion: Behind Garrison Keillor’s success

Garrison chats with CBS This Morning about A Prairie Home Companion‘s 40th anniversary and his book The Keillor Reader

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AP: Keillor to celebrate 40 years on Lake Wobegon

AP: Keillor to celebrate 40 years on Lake Wobegon

Garrison discusses the 40th anniversary of A Prairie Home Companion in an interview with the Associated Press

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