Children's Literature - Monserrat UrenaThis is the first book of the "South Dakota Biography Series" and tells the life story of the beloved writer of such books as Little House on the Prairie and Little House in the Big Woods. The book focuses on clarifying the real and fictional elements in Wilder's life and their place in her books. The most interesting element in the book however is the complicated and often difficult relationship between Wilder and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane. A writer in her own right, Rose Wilder Lane was a strong force in her mother's creative life. The unique working relationship between mother and daughter is shown to have been filled with highs and lows. The end results however are unmistakable. As far as biographies go, this is a middle tier one. It makes for an average reading experience but there are better biographies out there. This is particularly true if you are looking for source material for research and the like. This biography however does work well for those who are just beginning to look into Wilder's life. I, however, left the book with a great interest in learning more about her daughter Rose Wilder Lane. She stands out in the work as a modern woman achieving and struggling with an acute sensibility that seems to break free of the constraints of her time. Reviewer: Monserrat Urena
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Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer's Life based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
This was an excellent book. I was so tired of hearing people speculating that Rose was the true author and Laura had little to do with the writing of the LIttle House books. This well authored book puts those rumors to rest in a straightforward manner. It is an excellent biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I highly recommend it!
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 (footnotes and everything!) with a steady focus on Laura, giving equal weight to the true details of her life and to her writing. As an author of children's historical fiction herself, Pamela Smith Hill gives ample insight into the craft of Wilder's writing, drawing attention to a great many elements of the structure and theme of the Little House books that I'd never put together myself. Based on those observations, Hill presents a compelling case that despite being steeped in historical and autobiographical details, Wilder's books are indeed fiction -- a personal history consciously trimmed and molded to fit the form and countours of the novel. Hill also tackles the fascinating editorial partnership between Laura Ingalls Wilder and daughter Rose Wilder Lane, pointing out with concrete examples how the combination of each woman's natural strengths and gifts contributed to the overall shape and tone of Wilder's novels. Thankfully, Hill manages to keep Rose's dynamic and voilatile personality from overpowering the second half of the book, all the while giving an uncluttered assessment of Rose's role in bringing the Little House stories to print. I have no complaints about this book. Not a single one.