The Real-life Laura Ingalls Wilder

Apr 20, 2018

Friday, we’re talking about the real-life Laura Ingalls Wilder and how her story compares to the mythic American history many of us absorbed through her wildly popular series The Little House books.

Many of us know - or think we know - Laura Ingalls Wilder. The Little House books have sold over sixty million copies, and of course, there was the wildly popular television series based on her work. But biographer Caroline Fraser says the Little House series was an act of myth-making that reflected the romantic American ideal of self-reliance. Wilder’s life was much darker and much more complicated. Fraser joins us to talk about the real woman behind a beloved American classic. (Rebroadcast)

Caroline Fraser is an editor and writer. She edited the Library of America Edition of The Little House books [Amazon] and is the author of Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder [Indie bookstores|Amazon|Audible]. This week, it was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Biography.