The Wilder Life
My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie
By Wendy McClure
(Riverhead Books, Paperback, 9781594485688, 352pp.)
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
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Wendy McClure is on a quest to find the world of beloved Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder—a fantastic realm of fiction, history, and places she’s never been to, yet somehow knows by heart. She traces the pioneer journey of the Ingalls family— looking for the Big Woods among the medium trees in Wisconsin, wading in Plum Creek, and enduring a prairie hailstorm in South Dakota. She immerses herself in all things Little House—exploring the story from fact to fiction, and from the TV shows to the annual summer pageants in Laura’s hometowns. Whether she’s churning butter in her apartment or sitting in a replica log cabin, McClure is always in pursuit of “the Laura experience.” The result is an incredibly funny first-person account of obsessive reading, and a story about what happens when we reconnect with our childhood touchstones—and find that our old love has only deepened.
Wendy McClure has been writing about her obsessions for nearly a decade, both online and in print. She is the author of the 2005 memoir I’m Not the New Me and a columnist for BUST magazine, and has contributed to The New York Times Magazine and This American Life. She works as a children’s book editor and lives in Chicago with her husband.
Wendy McClure grew up loving the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder. As an adult, McClure immersed herself in the true stories of Wilder's life, churning butter, eating salt pork, and visiting the tiny, sometimes illegal homes in which the Wilder family lived. More at NPR.org
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