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Prairie fires : the American dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Author: Caroline Fraser
Publisher: New York : Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, [2017] ©2017
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : First editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls--the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains, and the woman who wrote the famous autobiographical books. But the true saga of her life has never been fully told. Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser--the editor of the Library of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biographies
Biography
Named Person: Laura Ingalls Wilder; Rose Wilder Lane; Laura Ingalls Wilder; Rose Wilder Lane; Laura Ingalls Wilder; Laura Ingalls Wilder
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Caroline Fraser
ISBN: 9781627792769 1627792767
OCLC Number: 967973350
Language Note: Text in English.
Awards: 2018 Pulitzer Prize for biography.
Description: xii, 625 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
Contents: Part I: The pioneer --
Maiden rock --
Indian summers --
Crying hard times --
God hates a coward --
Don't leave the farm, boys --
Part II: The exile --
A world made --
As a farm woman thinks --
The absent ones --
Pioneer girl --
Part III: The dream --
A ruined country --
Dusty old dust --
We are all here --
Sunshine and shadow --
There is gold in the farm.
Responsibility: Caroline Fraser.
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Abstract:

Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls--the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains, and the woman who wrote the famous autobiographical books. But the true saga of her life has never been fully told. Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser--the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House series--masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder's biography. Revealing the grown-up story behind the most influential childhood epic of pioneer life, she also chronicles Wilder's tumultuous relationship with her journalist daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, setting the record straight regarding charges of ghostwriting that have swirled around the books. The Little House books, for all the hardships they describe, are paeans to the pioneer spirit, portraying it as triumphant against all odds. But Wilder's real life was harder and grittier than that, a story of relentless struggle, rootlessness, and poverty. It was only in her sixties, after losing nearly everything in the Great Depression, that she turned to children's books, recasting her hardscrabble childhood as a celebratory vision of homesteading - and achieving fame and fortune in the process, in one of the most astonishing rags-to-riches episodes in American letters. Spanning nearly a century of epochal change, from the Indian Wars to the Dust Bowl, Wilder's dramatic life provides a unique perspective on American history and our national mythology of self-reliance. With fresh insights and new discoveries, Prairie Fires reveals the complex woman whose classic stories grip us to this day. -- from dust jacket.

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"An absorbing new biography [that] deserves recognition as an essential text.... For anyone who has drifted into thinking of Wilder's 'Little House' books as relics of a distant and irrelevant past, Read more...

 
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