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Parks and Recreation‘s Leslie Knope has done a lot of an ambitious things in her lifetime — construct her own Geraldine Ferraro popsicle stick action figure, eat more than a thousand dollars of waffles in one year at J.J.’s Diner – but now our optimistic parks department deputy director has outdone herself: She’s written a book all about Pawnee, Ind.!
Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America, which hits stores Oct. 4, is a complete history of the not-quite-vibrant town made famous on the NBC comedy. (Fans of the show will remember that Leslie had referenced such an opus in season 3’s “Time Capsule” episode.) “It’s a Let’s Go‑type travel guide to Pawnee, mixed with a historical record of everything that’s ever happened in the town,” explains executive producer Mike Schur. “But the premise of the book is that she also got her friends to contribute. So Andy writes about the old Pawnee-versus-Eagleton high school football rivalry, and Ann writes about the 10 weirdest injuries she’s seen working at the hospital. And Leslie can’t stop herself. The book’s got 200 footnotes. There’s an author’s note, a forward, and an acknowledgements page. And a second acknowledgements page. And an epigraph. And then another [two pages] of epigraphs. It might be the craziest tie‑in book project ever attempted, because it’s the entire history of a medium-sized town, but written from the point of view of a slightly crazy person.”
Want a hit of Pawnee lit? EW has secured two exclusive excerpts from the book. You will find the first, “April’s Guide to Hipster Pawnee,” in this week’s issue, which arrives on stands today. The second, “The Solitude of Nature: A Diary,” was reluctantly submitted by Ron Swanson, which as he notes, was “typed on an Underwood 5 typewriter with original carriage return that I found in a dumpster and completely restored.” Read it below at your own risk, and not just because he calls Thoreau “kind of a p—y.” READ FULL STORY