Prairie Fires

The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser

  • Published: Sep 28, 2020

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR The first comprehensive historical biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the beloved author of the Little House... read more

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Details of Prairie Fires

Exact title of the book
Prairie Fires
Book author
Caroline Fraser
ISBN
9781627792776
Publisher
Henry Holt and Co.
Published
Nov 21, 2017
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
368
File size (in PDF)
3312 kB

Some brief overview of book

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR The first comprehensive historical biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the beloved author of the Little House on the Prairie books Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingallsthe 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 Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraserthe editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House seriesmasterfully fills in the gaps in Wilders 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 Wilders 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 childrens books, recasting her hardscrabble childhood as a celebratory vision of homesteadingand 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, Wilders 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.

About author

Fraser is the editor of the Library of America edition of Laura Ingalls Wilders Little House books, and the author of Rewilding the World and Gods Perfect Child. Her writing has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, and the London Review of Books, among other publications. She lives in New Mexico.

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