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Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer's Life
Pamela Smith Hill.
Print-version Price: $12.95

eBook Price: $8.95
Formats: epub, mobi

256 pages
4.75 x 8 inches
14 b&w photographs
ISBN: 9780977795567

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Click here to learn more about Laura Ingalls Wilder's previously unpublished autobiography Pioneer Girl.

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Volume One in the South Dakota Biography Series

2008 WILLA Literary Award Winner in the Scholarly Nonfiction Category—Women Writing the West

Indie Excellence Awards 2008 Winner in the Biography Category

This is "a fascinating and remarkable book that deserves a place on the shelf of every Laura fan."—The Homesteader

"Pamela Smith Hill has [created] a work of considerable scholarship and insight. . . . She has dealt along the way with numerous issues raised by critics and by the general readership, together with other matters that few have previously thought to discuss. In all of this, her extensive research, her careful scholarship and her measured style, combined with her obvious enthusiasm for her subject, have produced a work which we believe adds in substantial measure to the critical literature involving Wilder and Lane."—The Little House Heritage Trust

In Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life, Pamela Smith Hill delves into the complex and often fascinating relationships Wilder formed throughout her life that led to the writing of her classic Little House series. Using Wilder’s stories, personal correspondence, an unpublished autobiography, and experiences in South Dakota, Hill has produced a historical-literary biography of the famous and much-loved author. Following the course of Wilder’s life, and her real family’s journey west, Hill provides a context, both familial and literary, for Wilder’s writing career.

Available in ebook formats

You might also enjoy this ebook short about Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Laura Ingalls Wilder examines Wilder’s inspirations as a writer, particularly her tumultuous, but ultimately successful, professional and personal relationship with her daughter—the hidden editor—Rose Wilder Lane. Wilder produced her timeless classics with the help of, but not reliance upon, her daughter’s editorial insights. Over the course of more than thirty years, Lane and Wilder engaged in a dynamic working relationship, shifting between trust, distrust, and respect. Hill argues that they differed in their visions of the path Wilder’s career should follow, but eventually Lane’s editing brought out the best of her mother’s writing, and allowed her creativity, expression, and experiences to shine through.

This book is the first in the South Dakota Biography Series that highlights the state's most famous residents.

Listen to Pamela Smith Hill on Minnesota Public Radio.

"I can hardly say enough good things about this book. It's exactly the sort of Laura Ingalls Wilder biography I've been wishing for: straightforward, non-fiction, with a steady focus on Laura, giving equal weight to both the true details of her life and to her writing."—www.sarahmillerbooks.com

"This will most likely be the definitive published source for 'Pioneer Girl.'"—The Homesteader

"In some ways, Laura fans have been waiting for the second half of this book since the 1994 publication of William Holtz's Ghost in the Little House."—The Homesteader

"If you've ever wanted to peek behind the scenes of the "Little House" series and other vignettes, this is your book. . . . This biography is sometimes happy, sometimes sad, but always a page turner."—Roundup Magazine

Read a review from the Christian Science Monitor.

"Hill skillfully examines the complex relationship between Wilder and her daughter."—Kansas History

Hill offers "fresh insights on open questions in Wilder and Little House studies, and are engaging, enjoyable reading."—Kansas History

Visit BookAbe.com to read a couple of reviews of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Visit Goodreads to read some review of Pamela Smith Hill's book.

"Hill's dissecton of the personal and professional interactions between these two women, as mother and daughter and as collaborating (and rival) artists, is performed with delicacy and tact that, nevertheless, confirms Laura Ingalls Wilder's place in the canon of American writers."—Nebraska History

This book "is a thoughtful and sometimes compelling portrait that will provide readers with new insight into both the Little House books and Laura Ingalls Wilder."—The Lion and the Unicorn

"Hill's absorbing book chronicles Wilder's original writing efforts, and how her daughter guided her (not actually wrote her books, as suggested in Holtz's Ghost in the Little House) into the creation of a more dramatic narrative. In addition, this volume supplies more details of Wilder's life that have not shown up in biographies, including the fact that a young couple and their newborn baby lived with the family during "the long winter," and that Laura was once almost assaulted by a drunken man whose wife she was caring for. Highly recommended if you are interested in the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder."—Cozynook.blogspot.com

"I vote for Pamela Smith Hill’s book. I’ve read all of the Bio’s about Laura and felt that this one was one of the best. It gave a very clear portrait of the relationship Laura and Rose had while writing the books. It pointed out very clearly that even if Rose had some participation with editing/story development, the stories were Laura’s. Smith points out that Rose’s experience with writing fiction was limited, that she wrote for magazines and was not generally considered a fiction writer. Only short stories."—Lori Berg, BeyondLittleHouse.com

Request a media guide for this book.

Click on the PDF link below to download an excerpt from the book.

Read an in-depth review of this book in The Lion and the Unicorn by downloading the PDF below.

Click here to visit the Pioneer Girl Project website.

Visit Pamela Smith Hill's website.

Visit "Beyond Little House," a Laura Ingalls Wilder blog.

Learn more about the other books in the South Dakota Biography Series.

Download a reader's guide for this book.

Associated Files
  • Open lion and the unicorn review.pdf lion and the unicorn review.pdf
  • Open chapter 1.pdf chapter 1.pdf
  • Open LIW reader's guide fw.pdf LIW reader's guide fw.pdf