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 Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser — the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House series —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.
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.
Caroline Fraser is the author of Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution and God’s Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church, which was selected as a New York Times Book Review Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Book Review Best Book. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Review of Books, and Outside magazine, among others.