Humorist Garrison Keillor was born Gary Edward Keillor in Anoka, Minnesota on August 7, 1942. He began using the pen name Garrison at the age of thirteen. He received a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1966 and paid for his tuition by working at the campus radio station. In 1974, he wrote an essay for the New Yorker about the Grand Ole Opry, which led to his live radio program, A Prairie Home Companion. Stories from Prairie Home were collected and published, but his debut as a novelist was in 1985 with Lake Wobegon Days. His other novels include WLT: A Radio Romance, The Book of Guys, Wobegon Boy, Me by Jimmy (Big Boy) Valente, and Good Poems, American Places. He has also written the children's books Cat, You Better Come Home, The Old Man Who Loved Cheese, and The Sandy Bottom Orchestra. He won a Grammy Award for his recording of Lake Wobegon Days and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1994. Keillor received a National Humanities Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1999. In September 2007, Keillor was awarded the John Steinbeck Award.
Michael Lynch teaches at the University of Leicester and is also a writer, specializing in modern European and Asian history.