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Release: Sept. 5, 2001

Garrison Keillor to appear on 'Live from Prairie Lights' Sept. 18

Garrison Keillor, one of public radio's most beloved personalities, will read from his new novel "Lake Wobegon Summer 1956" as part of WSUI's "Live from Prairie Lights" program Sept. 18.

The reading will be at 8 p.m. at the Clapp Recital Hall at the University of Iowa and broadcast live on WSUI 910 AM, the UI's public radio station.

Keillor is best known as the host and writer of "A Prairie Home Companion" (broadcast Saturdays at 5 p.m. on KSUI-FM). Setting the novel in the fictional Lake Wobegon, Keillor captures post-war America and delivers a comedy about a kid coming of age as a writer in the rural Midwest.

Born in 1942 in Anoka, Minn., Keillor began his radio career as a student at the University of Minnesota, from which he graduated. He later conceived "A Prairie Home Companion" first broadcast on July 6, 1974, in a St. Paul college theater in front of an audience of 12 people.

In 1987, Keillor ended "A Prairie Home Companion" and moved to New York, where in 1989 he started a new program, "The American Radio Company," which played to sold-out houses for four seasons. The show returned to the name "A Prairie Home Companion" in 1993 and is once again based in Minnesota; it is now heard on over 400 radio stations.

Keillor, has written several best-selling books including "Wobegon Boy," "Lake Wobegon Days," "Leaving Home," and a children's book, "Cat, You Better Come Home." He has also written for The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Time magazine, and an advice column for Salon.com.

Keillor has received a Grammy Award, two ACE Awards and a George Foster Peabody Award. In 1994, he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, which called him "contemporary radio's most inventive humorist."

In addition to the reading, "Live from Prairie Lights" host Julie Englander will conduct a question-and-answer session with Keillor, whose last appearance in Iowa City was in 1990 during "A Prairie Home Companion's" sold-out farewell tour.

On July 25, Keillor underwent open-heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He is recovering from the procedure but is still scheduled to make his Iowa City appearance.

Tickets for the reading are $20 general admission and $10 for students. Call the Hancher Box Office for more ticket information at (319) 335-1160.