In the latest episode of the wonderfully animated series “Blank on Blank“, humorist Garrison Keillor opens up about how his religious upbringing affected his outlook on life. The conversation took place in 1994 with journalist George Plimpton in front of a live audience at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
I grew up in a fundamentalist protestant family that stressed that we were a select people and so we were to avoid contact with others who did not share our faith. We were isolated and perhaps growing up in this world, first of all one has a reverence for the word and for language. God spoke to us through the word and in our family this was the King James Bible. It also I think gave books, fiction great power because they were proscribed. We were not to touch them and my family was shocked when I came home with a volume of Hemingway when I was a boy and I wanted to read it. So there was a price to be paid for being interested in fiction and in writing, pushing my family away. Books and authors became my family.