When, at thirteen, he caught on as a sportswriter for the Anoka Herald, Garrison Keillor set out to become a professional writer. And so he has done - a storyteller, sometime comedian, essayist, newspaper columnist, screenwriter, poet.

Now a single volume brings together the full range of his work: monologues from A Prairie Home Companion, stories from The New Yorker and The Atlantic, excerpts from novels, newspaper columns. The Keillor Reader also presents pieces never before published.

Garrison Keillor is the founder and host of A Prairie Home Companion, celebrating its fortieth anniversary in 2014. He is the author of nineteen books of fiction and humor, the editor of the Good Poems collections, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He has a trio of events in our region over the next few days - in the meantime, welcome Garrison Keillor to The Roundtable.

    In The Trip to Echo Spring, Olivia Laing examines the link between creativity and alcohol through the work and lives of six extraordinary men: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever, and Raymond Carver.

All six of these writers were alcoholics, and the subject of drinking surfaces in some of their finest work, from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to A Moveable Feast. Often, they did their drinking together: Hemingway and Fitzgerald ricocheting through the cafés of Paris in the 1920s; Carver and Cheever speeding to the liquor store in Iowa in the icy winter of 1973.

Olivia Laing grew up in an alcoholic family herself. One spring, wanting to make sense of this ferocious, entangling disease, she took a journey across America that plunged her into the heart of these overlapping lives. As she travels from Cheever’s New York to Williams’s New Orleans, and from Hemingway’s Key West to Carver’s Port Angeles, she pieces together a topographical map of alcoholism, from the horrors of addiction to the miraculous possibilities of recovery.

  In The Other Language, Francesca Marciano, the acclaimed author of Rules of the Wild, gives us nine incandescently smart stories, funny, elegant, and poignant by turns, that explore the power of change—in relationships, in geographies, and across cultures—to reveal unexpected aspects of ourselves.

Francesca Marciano will be in Albany today participating in two New York State Writer's Institute events.

NYPD Red 2

Apr 9, 2014


  When NYPD Red arrives at a crime scene, everyone takes notice. Known as the protectors of the rich, famous, and connected, NYPD Red is the elite task force called in only for New York City's most high-profile crimes. And Detective Zach Jordan is the best of the best, a brilliant and relentless pursuer of justice. He puts professionalism above all, ignoring his feelings for his partner, Detective Kylie MacDonald, the woman who broke his heart when they first met in the academy.

We welcome Marshall Karp back to the show to talk about NYPD Red 2, which he co-authored with James Patterson.


  George Saunders’ Tenth of December was named one of the best books of last year by The New York Times Magazine, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, New York, Kirkus Reviews, BookPage, Shelf Awareness, and People. It was a National Book Award finalist and won the Folio prize.

The collection of short stories scriven in Saunder’s signature sportive and startling style is now available in paperback.

    Mary Higgins Clark, #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-three suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; two children’s books, including The Magical Christmas Horse; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges.

In her latest novel, I've Got You Under My Skin, Laurie Moran’s husband was brutally murdered and only three-year-old Timmy saw the face of his father’s killer. Five years later his piercing blue eyes still haunt Timmy’s dreams. Laurie is haunted by more—the killer’s threat to her son as he fled the scene: “Tell your mother she’s next, then it’s your turn . . .”


  There is nothing like a good literary festival, especially when it takes over an entire municipality.

The 3rd Annual Read Local Red Hook Literary Festival will take place next weekend, April 11th and 12th, throughout the village. The festival is full of free events celebrating local authors and featuring the likes of James Romm, Valerie Martin and Gail Godwin.

We get a preview this morning from two of the organizers - Suzanna Hermans of Oblong Books and Music and Juliet Harrison of Red Hook Community Arts Network.


  The Woodstock Writers Festival is a collection of writers and their readers who meet for the weekend in Woodstock, NY from April 3-6th. It is the 4th annual event and there are plenty of events and panels. There will be panels on fiction, biography, journalism and a look at the writing of memoir.

Among the writers who will be on hand are Steven Tobolowsky, Jennifer Clement, Domenica Ruta, MK Asante, J. Michael Lennon and Henry Bushkin. To tell us more we welcome Festival Organizer Martha Frankel and festival headliners Abigail Thomas, Kitty Sheehan and James Howard Kunstler.


    In E. B. White on Dogs, the author's granddaughter and manager of his literary estate, Martha White, has compiled the best and funniest of his essays, poems, letters, and sketches depicting over a dozen of White's various canine companions.

  After three acclaimed novels (The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Absurdistan: A Novel, and Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel), Gary Shteyngart turns to memoir with Little Failure, a candid, witty, deeply poignant account of his life so far.

Gary Shteyngart will present the annual Krieger Memorial Lecture on March 27 at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY.