Biography Shows Laura Ingalls Wilder's Life Was Much Darker Than Fictional Life On Prairie

Published: Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 4:52pm
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"Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder" by Caroline Fraser

Laura Ingalls Wilder is an archetype of the American frontier. Generations of children have learned about harvesting sap to make maple syrup, churning milk to make butter, hunting and covered wagons from her classic "Little House on the Prairie" series and the TV show from the 1970s and '80s that brought the books to life.

But the real Wilder’s life was much darker and more difficult than the fictionalized version of her childhood self in her novels. That’s what Caroline Fraser depicts in her new biography of the author, "Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder."

We speak with her via Skype recently about Wilder’s life and the nostalgic version of it that she captured so well in "Little House on the Prairie."

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