Garrison Keillor Quotes
Birth PlaceAnoka, Minnesota
FatherJohn Philip Keillor
SpouseJenny Lind Nilsson, Mary Guntzel, Ulla Skaerved
This American author, best known for breathing life into a fictional town named Lake Wobegon, once admitted that most of his stories were inspired by the tales narrated by his uncle. Keillor’s uncle used to tell him stories about how certain mischief makers would push an outhouse right when an unsuspecting man was inside. However, when asked to delve into details, the writer’s uncle always refused to oblige. This is where Garrison’s imagination began coming into play. He reconstructed the entire episode of tipping over an outhouse, how the victim would devise a plan to come out of such a situation, and the stark contrast between the emotions the tipper and the man trapped inside felt. He contemplated on even the minutest component, including whether the outhouse was tipped on its back or the front.
In another piece, titled ‘My North Dakota Railroad Days’, written for the ‘New Yorker’ magazine, he says he drew his inspiration from his father’s experiences as a mail sorter for the railways. Young Keillor was always fascinated by the trains in Minnesota and when he grew up he conjured one up that was bigger than those he had ever seen. He named his imaginary train, ‘The Prairie Queen’ and made it seem unbelievably real. In fact, when it was republished in a North Dakota magazine, people wrote him letters saying they couldn’t recollect having ever seen such a train in the state. These mails bear testimony to this brilliant writer’s talent as a storyteller, as he himself agrees, “When people take pure fiction as journalism, there is no greater compliment.”