Garrison Keillor on his home turf

The fiction of Garrison Keillor, creator of Lake Woebegon, is rooted in the “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis and St Paul and in the state of Minnesota. So is the writer himself, he says in a piece for National Geographic:

“The great American myth is the hero who leaves home to remake himself in another place: James Gatz leaves North Dakota to become Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island; Robert Jordan leaves his teaching job in Montana to fight in the Spanish Civil War; Huck Finn took a raft, Dorothy flew off in a tornado, Sister Carrie rode the train, Jack Kerouac hitched rides—and so forth—but in my experience the Cities have been quite roomy enough for a restless, impulsive person to live his life. I never felt stranded here. Sometimes I felt the pull of the roads going west, Highway 7 out of Excelsior and Clara City toward South Dakota, and Highway 212 through Chaska and Granite Falls, and Highway 12 through Litchfield and Willmar and Benson and Ortonville. And now and then, just for a taste of freedom, I’d drive out west late at night through the little towns and stop around 2 or 3 a.m. at a crossroad and get out of the car and walk around in the dark for a while and then head back to do my 6 a.m. radio shift.”

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