The Wilder Life
My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie
By Wendy McClure
(Riverhead Hardcover, Hardcover, 9781594487804, 352pp.)
Publication Date: April 14, 2011
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For anyone who has ever wanted to step into the world of a favorite book, here is a pioneer pilgrimage, a tribute to Laura Ingalls Wilder, and a hilarious account of butter-churning obsession.
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 retraces 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, and explores 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." Along the way she comes to understand how Wilder's life and work have shaped our ideas about girlhood and the American West.
The Wilder Life is a loving, irreverent, spirited tribute to a series of books that have inspired generations of American women. It is also 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 holds an M.F.A. in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She is the author of I’m Not the New Me and the creator of the online journal Pound, as well as the humor site Candyboots. She is a columnist for Bust, a regular contributor to the website Television Without Pity, and her writing has also appeared in Glamour, The Chicago Sun-Times, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications. She lives in Chicago.
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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