Prairie fires : the American dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder / Caroline Fraser.

By: Fraser, Caroline [author.]Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, [2017]Copyright date: ©2017Edition: First editionDescription: xii, 625 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cmContent type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781627792769; 1627792767Subject(s): Wilder, Laura Ingalls, 1867-1957 | Lane, Rose Wilder, 1886-1968 | Wilder, Laura Ingalls, 1867-1957 | Lane, Rose Wilder, 1886-1968 | Wilder, Laura Ingalls, 1867-1957 | Wilder, Laura Ingalls, 1867-1957 | Wilder, Laura Ingalls, 1867-1957 | Authors, American -- 20th century -- Biography | Women pioneers -- United States -- Biography | Frontier and pioneer life -- United States | BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY -- Historical | BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY -- Literary | Authors, American | Frontier and pioneer life | Women pioneers | United States | Frontier and pioneer life -- United States | American authors -- Biography | 1900-1999Genre/Form: Biographies. | Biographies. | Biography. | Biographies.DDC classification: 813/.52 LOC classification: PS3545.I342 | Z6455 2017Online resources: Click here to access online | More Info
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.
Awards: 2018 Pulitzer Prize for biography.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 Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser--the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House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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Includes bibliographical references (pages 517-602) and index.

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.

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.

Text in English.

2018 Pulitzer Prize for biography.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Generations of readers believe they learned all about pioneer life on the prairie from Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved "Little House" novels. However, Fraser's brilliant biography of their enigmatic author shows a truth much darker and more complex than her cozy autobiographical children's fiction. This penetrating and heavily researched examination of Wilder's life, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and property and financial records, shows the homesteaders' endless, soul-crushing struggle against starvation and financial ruin as they migrated across the harsh environment of the American West. Squarely placing the novels into their historical, cultural, and ecological context, Fraser, editor of the Library of America editions of the "Little House" books, demythologizes and deepens our understanding of Wilder's sunny tales of American opportunism and self--sufficiency. For instance, the heavy-handed role of the federal government in encouraging westward migration (then often abandoning settlers in times of need) as well as the heartbreaking treatment of Native Americans is only hinted at in Wilder's books. Maintaining a warm, enthusiastic tone for more than 21 hours and smoothly switching between detailed historical accounts and Wilder family stories, narrator Christina Moore offers an exceptional performance. VERDICT This will find a welcome audience in all libraries. ["An excellent work that will appeal to readers interested in the "Little House" books and the historical events they depict": LJ 11/15/17 starred review of the Metropolitan: Holt hc.]-Beth Farrell, Cleveland State Univ. Law Lib. © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Caroline Fraser is the editor of the Library of America edition of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books, and the author of Rewilding the World and God's 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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