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December 5, 2011

Keillor brings Common Good Books to Macalester

Filed under: Bookshops — Tags: , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:33 am

Common Good Books

By Matea Wasend

Macalester will soon be home to a bookstore owned by one of Saint Paul’s most well-known writers: A Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor.

Keillor’s Common Good Books will join the Macalester College Bookstore in the Lampert Building, just north of the corner of Grand and Snelling. It is scheduled to open in April following four months and about $1.2 million in renovations to the main-floor space.

“It will give people at Macalester a chance to walk into an establishment where you can just walk around and look at things, you don’t really need to buy anything,” Keillor said.

“You can kind of lean up against a table and page through the first few pages of a book. It’s a wonderful thing to handle books and to be curious about what is being written about.”

Today’s announcement of the bookstore opening cemented plans that had been in the works since the summer, when Keillor began touring Macalester’s campus in search of a suitable space.

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August 12, 2011

Who made comedian Andy Borowitz’s list of ’50 Funniest’ writers?

Andy Borowitz

By Bob Minzesheimer, USA TODAY

Let the arguments begin, says Andy Borowitz, in his first interview about his book, The 50 Funniest American Writers: An Anthology of Humor From Mark Twain to The Onion, (Library of America, $27.95, Oct. 13).

Who made it? Garrison Keillor, Larry Wilmore and Anita Loos. (full list below).

Who didn’t? Tina Fey, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart.

“Anytime you do a best-of list, people get mad, except for the people on the list,” says Borowitz, of the satirical website, BorowitzReport.com “Lists are lightening rods. That’s the fun of it. And the most personal thing of all is deciding what’s funny.”

The list includes the usual suspects: O. Henry, H.L. Mencken, Dorothy Parker and Woody Allen, as well as more modern humorists including David Sedaris, Dave Barry and Sloane Crosley.

But what about the omissions?

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May 4, 2011

What’s wrong with popularising poetry? Well, the poets don’t seem to like it . . .

By Sam Leith

Angry bards . . . Garrison Keillor and August Kleinzahler. Photograph: Eamonn Mccabe/Beowulf Sheehan

Garrison Keillor – anecdotalist, radio host and laureate of small-town wholesomeness – is publishing a book of poetry, 77 Love Sonnets. Interviewed about the book, Keillor found himself discussing the reaction to an anthology he published a few years ago; specifically, the admired modernist poet August Kleinzahler’s full-frontal assault on Keillor’s “appalling taste”.

I looked it up: a dismissive review that took two and a half thousand words in the dismissing. It’s been said that criticising PG Wodehouse is like “taking a spade to a souffle”. This was something similar; and if you hit a souffle with a spade, you get egg on your face.

Keillor’s taste in poetry may differ from Kleinzahler’s, and his understanding of what it’s for may differ – caricaturally, he thinks it does the soul good, and that makes Kleinzahler wince with embarrassment.

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