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One Could do Worse

August 19, 2008 | 5 Comments

Dear Mr. Keillor:
New Yorker writer and best-selling author David Sedaris seems so trendy, even exotic, with his boyfriend, his house in Normandy, his sardonic attitude, his chain-smoking mother, and his famous siblings.

You, on the other hand, seem very Midwestern.

Is there any chance that you'll be taking up a same-sex partner, living the life of an ex-pat, or at least doing some undercover reporting at a nudist camp? Maybe you could take on work at a Macy's Santaland? Or at least spend a lot of time with Ira Glass.

Your demographics could use some more youthfulness.

Ken B.
Austin, TX

A generous thought on your part, Ken, but we are who we are and past a certain age, we can't very well remake ourselves. Mr. Sedaris is, down deep, a very hard-working painstaking writer who does extensive touring and is extremely conscientious about public performance. He is inexhaustible and famous for his generosity to his fans. The house in Normandy is neither here nor there. He seems to be a deeply monogamous man with old-fashioned attitudes about privacy and loyalty and discipline. Sardonic, in his case, conceals a sentimental romantic. If young people are drawn to Mr. Sedaris, I can only applaud their good taste. If I seem very midwestern, it's probably because I've lived here most of my life. One could do worse.


Dear Garrison,

Ken B. bewilders me. Is he attacking David Sedaris, Ira Glass or you?

I do not care for the snarky (an Ira Glass-like word), smarmy styles of Ken B., Sedaris or Glass.

As for youthful demographics, I've been to your live Midwestern radio shows and saw no shortage of youths. Many men, women and children of all ages with good taste.

Thank you.

Nick S.

Please keep your show Midwestern. A native Southerner, I'm surrounded by transplanted New Yorkers who complain incessantly about how terrible and backward everything is here (but funny, they never go BACK there) and it's tiresome. I was sorry when Ira Glass dumped Chicago for New York--people there lost This American Life and Marshall Field's in the same year. I love running marathons in the Midwest--people there are always flattered and surprised that someone has chosen to vacation in their town. I'm a fan of Mr. Sedaris, but everything doesn't begin and end with NYC. We need a little variety.

You'll find a few "youths" yet among PHC listeners! At 21, I keep tuning in for that wry humor and great storytelling - and also appreciate the subtle fun poked at the religious right, conservatives and consumerist/corporate America.

(p.s. Thanks for making The News from Lake Wobegon a podcast. Any chance we'll see more of the show online?)

I happen to be a huge fan of GK, David Sedaris and Ira Glass. Good storytelling is good storytelling. Period. Part of what makes good storytelling good is a unique point of view. If GK tried to imitate someone else's style, he would no longer be unique. Interestingly enough, at the performing arts center in Birmingham, Alabama where I work part-time, two of the very few shows that sold out in the past couple of years were Garrison Keillor and David Sedaris! And they both stayed afterwards and autographed books until the last person was gone, graciously greeting each and every autograph seeker. Both are class acts, IMO!

I do think that the original poster was just trying to be cute, though. . . .

I agree with most who responded but I felt I wanted to get in my 2
I adore David Sedaris almost as much as I adore you. Good storytelling is no doubt a lost art and we are priveledged to have you both. Granted you couldnt be more different, though you ahve both cornered the market on clever, charming, heartfelt stories that we can all relate to no matter where we live or whom we live with.

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