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SDSHS Press to Publish Laura Ingalls Wilder's Autobiography, Pioneer Girl
The SDSHS Press will publish Pioneer Girl: An Annotated Edition by Pamela Smith Hill.

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s famous children’s books are available all over the world, but one of her stories has never been published. For the first time, Wilder’s autobiography will soon be available to everyone. The South Dakota State Historical Society (SDSHS) Press has successfully negotiated the worldwide, exclusive rights to publish Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Pioneer Girl.

“We are delighted to announce this major publishing event,” said Nancy Tystad Koupal, director of the SDSHS Press. “The opportunity to bring such an important work to print for the first time is an indication of the high standards to which we aspire and the success that we have achieved over the past 15 years.”

The Little House Heritage Trust, the administrators of Wilder’s Estate, granted the rights to publish Pioneer Girl to the SDSHS Press partly as a result of the Press’s award-winning 2007 biography, Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life, by Pamela Smith Hill. Hill and the Press collaborated once again to propose this new publication to the Trust, which was pleased to partner with the Press in making Wilder’s autobiography available to the public for the first time.

The book is currently in development. Pioneer Girl was Wilder’s first real attempt at writing her childhood story, and it formed the genesis for her Little House books, which have become fan favorites. Critics regard the books as some of the finest children’s literature of the past century. Although Wilder wrote her Little House books for children, she intended Pioneer Girl for an adult audience.

The SDSHS Press publication will be an annotated edition, featuring Wilder’s original text, essays by Hill, and annotations throughout the book providing historical context, comparing the original version with the five subsequent edited versions, as well as with the Little House books. The book will also feature lavish use of photographs and images from historical collections throughout the country.

The publication of Pioneer Girl is funded, in part, by donations and grants from multiple sources, but most significantly from a matching grant awarded by the Great Plains Education Foundation, Inc., in Aberdeen. The funding of this book is an ongoing process, and the SDSHS Press wishes to thank its existing partners and extend the opportunity to other donors to become involved in this incredible publishing opportunity. To donate, visit the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation's donation page for the project.

Pioneer Girl can be preordered for $35 (plus shipping and tax where applicable) direct from the South Dakota State Historical Society Press by contacting (605) 773-6009 or emailing orders@sdshspress.com.