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Leaving Home
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About the Author

Garrison Keillor, author of nearly a dozen books, is founder and host of the acclaimed radio show A Prairie Home Companion and the daily program The Writer's Almanac. He is also a regular contributor to Time magazine.

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For the fans, here's a round-up of 36 monologues from Keillor's Prairie Home Companion radio show, which went off the air on June 13. The reader who is unacquainted with the show or with Keillor's best selling book Lake Wobegon Days may make little sense of these tales of ordinary, everyday events in the lives of unspectacular people living in the imaginary but wholly believable village of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota; but for the faithful, and there are hundreds of thousands such, this new book will be welcomed like a letter from the home town in which one is brought up to date on what relatives, friends, and others have been doing lately. For them the adventures never stale and the characters never bore. There is little danger that the book will gather dust in the library. A.J. Anderson, Graduate Sch. of Library & Information Sci e nce, Simmons Coll., Boston

``Home,'' in Keillor's fictional world, is Lake Wobegon (the ``Gateway to Central Minnesota''), which the radio humorist introduced in print in Lake Wobegon Days. This collection of stories set in Lake Wobegon is taken from monologues performed on A Prairie Home Companion, Keillor's radio show; each one chronicles some kind of leave-taking or homecoming: trips to Minneapolis, high school graduations, attending the Minnesota State Fair, a waitress quitting her job at the Chatterbox Cafe, a boy joining the army, Father Emil retiring from Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility, family members returning to Lake Wobegon for Christmas. In the last story, from Keillor's final show, the storyteller bids farewell to his beloved hometown. Keillor has a rare gift for celebrating and finding humor in commonplace events, and his affection for his characters and for small-town life shines through. These short narratives survive the transition from performance to print beautifully; they are spare, artfully crafted vignettes that will move readers as well as entertain them. Some tales are wildly hilarious, others gently poignantbut all are simply wonderful. 750,000 first printing; BOMC and QPBC main selections; first serial to the Atlantic. (October 5)

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