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Monday, December 09, 2019

Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Autobiography

Fess up. “Little House on the Prairie” is one of your guilty TV pleasures, whether you watched it in its original run in the 1970s and 80s, in syndication, or both. We all wanted to believe that little Laura Ingalls had that hard, but perfect life punctuated with the trials and heartaches of childhood. We wanted to believe that her father Charles was a flawed, but wonderful father, and that her husband Almanzo Wilder was the kind, gentle, loving guy we all came to know on TV.  Oh well, it’s not the first time Hollywood played fast and loose with the truth.

So here comes Wilder herself with her own autobiography, Pioneer Girl, and an annotated one at that. Reviewed in The Guardian, we are told that “Wilder’s fiction, her autobiography, and her real childhood as she lived it are three distinct things, but they are all closely intertwined, and readers will enjoy seeing how they reflect one another. Even more interesting, though, are the places where one story differs from another and Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Edition explores these differences too,” according the publisher, the South Dakota Historical Society Press.

In her lifetime publishers rejected the autobiography, and by the time Laura Ingalls Wilder died in 1957 at the age of 90 it had yet to be published.



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