Pioneer Girl Perspectives

Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder

Author: Nancy Tystad Koupal

Publisher: South Dakota State Historical Society Press

ISBN: 9781941813089

Category: Literary Collections

Page: N.A

View: 2395

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Published over eighty years after its inception, "Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography" edited by Pamela Smith Hill gave readers new insight into the truth behind Wilder's fiction. "Pioneer Girl Perspectives" further demonstrates the importance of Wilder as an influential American author whose stories of growing up on the frontier remain relevant today.
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Prairie Fires

The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Author: Caroline Fraser

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0708898661

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 640

View: 1418

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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD SHORTLISTED FOR THE CUNDILL HISTORY PRIZE 'Just as gripping as the original novels . . . As pacy and vivid as one of Wilder's own narratives, this surprising biography is immensely revealing both about Wilder and about America's founding myths' Sunday Times '"Little House" devotees will appreciate the extraordinary care and energy Fraser devotes to uncovering the details of a life that has been expertly veiled by myth' New York Times Book Review Millions of readers of the 'Little House' books believe they know Laura Ingalls Wilder - the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains as her family chased their American dream. But the true story of her life has never been fully told. Drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries and public records, Caroline Fraser masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder's biography, uncovering the grown-up story behind the best-loved childhood epic of pioneer life. Set against nearly a century of unimaginable change, from the Homestead Act and the Indian Wars to the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, Wilder's life was full of drama and adversity. Settling on the frontier amid land-rush speculation, her family endured Biblical tribulations of locusts and drought, poverty and want, before she left at the age of eighteen to marry Almanzo. This is where the books end, but there is so much more to tell; deep in debt after a series of personal tragedies, Laura and Almanzo uprooted themselves once again, crisscrossing the country, taking menial jobs to support the family. In middle age, she began writing a farm advice column, prodded by her journalist daughter Rose. And at the age of sixty, fearing the loss of almost everything in the Depression, she turned to children's books, recasting her extraordinarily difficult childhood as a triumphal vision of homesteading - achieving fame and fortune in the process. Laura Ingalls Wilder's life is one of the most astonishing rags-to-riches stories in American letters. Offering fresh insight and new discoveries, Prairie Fires reveals the complex woman who defined the American pioneer character, and whose artful blend of fact and fiction grips us to this day.
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Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane

Authorship, Place, Time, and Culture

Author: John E. Miller

Publisher: University of Missouri Press

ISBN: 9780826266590

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 280

View: 5306

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The mother-daughter partnership that produced the Little House books has fascinated scholars and readers alike. Now, John E. Miller, one of America’s leading authorities on Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane, combines analyses of both women to explore this collaborative process and shows how their books reflect the authors’ distinctive views of place, time, and culture. Along the way, he addresses the two most controversial issues for Wilder/Lane aficionados: how much did Lane actually contribute to the writing of the Little House books, and what was Wilder’s real attitude toward American Indians. Interpreting these writers in their larger historical and cultural contexts, Miller reconsiders their formidable artistic, political, and literary contributions to American cultural life in the 1930s. He looks at what was happening in 1932—from depression conditions and politics to chain stores and celebrity culture—to shed light on Wilder’s life, and he shows how actual “little houses” established ideas of home that resonated emotionally for both writers. In considering each woman’s ties to history, Miller compares Wilder with Frederick Jackson Turner as a frontier mythmaker and examines Lane’s unpublished history of Missouri in the context of a contemporaneous project, Thomas Hart Benton’s famous Jefferson City mural. He also looks at Wilder’s Missouri Ruralist columns to assess her pre–Little House values and writing skills, and he readdresses her literary treatment of Native Americans. A final chapter shows how Wilder’s and Lane’s conservative political views found expression in their work, separating Lane’s more libertarian bent from Wilder’s focus on writing moralist children’s fiction. These nine thoughtful essays expand the critical discussion on Wilder and Lane beyond the Little House. Miller portrays them as impassioned and dedicated writers who were deeply involved in the historical changes and political challenges of their times—and contends that questions over the books’ authorship do not do justice to either woman’s creative investment in the series. Miller demystifies the aura of nostalgia that often prevents modern readers from seeing Wilder as a real-life woman, and he depicts Lane as a kindred artistic spirit, helping readers better understand mother and daughter as both women and authors.
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Constructing the Little House

Gender, Culture, and Laura Ingalls Wilder

Author: Ann Romines

Publisher: Univ of Massachusetts Press

ISBN: 9781558491229

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 287

View: 6402

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Writing from a feminist perspective, the author examines what is it about the Little House Series that accounts for its enduring commercial success. It examines both the content of the novels, the process of their creation, and what it demonstrates about the current trends of American culture.
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Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Woman behind the Legend

Author: John E. Miller

Publisher: University of Missouri Press

ISBN: 9780826261151

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 3710

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Although generations of readers of the Little House books are familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s early life up through her first years of marriage to Almanzo Wilder, few know about her adult years. Going beyond previous studies, Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder focuses upon Wilder’s years in Missouri from 1894 to 1957. Utilizing her unpublished autobiography, letters, newspaper stories, and other documentary evidence, John E. Miller fills the gaps in Wilder’s autobiographical novels and describes her sixty-three years of living in Mansfield, Missouri. As a result, the process of personal development that culminated in Wilder’s writing of the novels that secured her reputation as one of America’s most popular children’s authors becomes evident.
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Little House, Long Shadow

Laura Ingalls Wilder's Impact on American Culture

Author: Anita Clair Fellman

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780826218032

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 342

View: 8189

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Because both Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, opposed the New Deal programs being implemented during the period in which they wrote, their books reflect their use of family history as an argument against the state's protection of individuals from economic uncertainty. Their writing emphasized the isolation of the Ingalls family and the family's resilience in the face of crises and consistently equated self-sufficiency with family acceptance, security, and warmth. Fellman argues that the popularity of these books- abetted by Lane's overtly libertarian views-helped lay the groundwork for a negative response to big government and a positive view of political individualism, contributing to the acceptance of contemporary conservatism while perpetuating a mythic West
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Take Up Thy Bed and Walk

Death, Disability and Cure in Classic Fiction for Girls

Author: Lois Keith

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 9780415937405

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 274

View: 9840

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Heidi, The Secret Garden, and Pollyanna are all classic "girls' books," featuring a miracle cure of an invalid character who literally gets up and walks away from illness or paralysis. Such stories were common in Victorian novels and they implicitly conveyed the idea that disability and physical suffering were punishment for wrongdoing: unruly girls could not enter womanhood unless they were tamed, and an accident was the perfect plot device for this transformation. Other characters, like Helen Burns in Jane Eyre or Beth in Little Women, were just too good to live, and died so that another character could be redeemed by their example. Lois Keith points out in this study that the temptation to either cure or kill off disabled characters has surprising tenacity. The widespread belief that a disabled life isn't a full life and that patients can cure themselves through force of will endures to the present day. In Take Up Thy Bed & Walk, Lois Keith brings her lively and observant eye to the classic books of childhood from Jane Eyre, Heidi, and Pollyanna, to modern American classics such as Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie and Judy Blume's Deenie. Keith explores the recurring images of impairment and ill health in literature and asks the reader to reconsider the messages they send to a devoted young audience. This book is also a testament to the singular passion with which these books are read by younger readers and reminds us of the intensity of our own reading experience as children.
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