Laura Ingalls Wilder
American Writer on the Prairie
Routledge – 2014 – 176 pages
Series: Routledge Historical Americans
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote stories that have defined the American frontier for generations of readers. As both author and character in her own books, she became one of the most famous figures in American children’s literature. Her famous Little House on the Prairie series, based on her childhood in Wisconsin, Kansas, Minnesota, and South Dakota, blended memoir and fiction into a vivid depiction of 19th-century settler life that continues to shape many Americans’ understanding of the country’s past. Poised between fiction and fact, literature and history, Wilder’s life is a fascinating window on the American west.
Placing Wilder’s life and work in historical context, and including previously unpublished material from the Wilder archives, Sallie Ketcham introduces students to domestic frontier life, the conflict between Native Americans and infringing white populations, and the West in public memory and imagination.
PART I: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Chapter 1 A Home in the West: The 1860s
Chapter 2 Wandering the West: The 1870s
Chapter 3 Settling the West: The 1880s
Chapter 4 Leaving the West: The 1890s
Chapter 5 Writing the West: 1911 to 1943
Chapter 6 I Am Your Laura: 1943 and Forward
PART II: Documents
Sallie Ketcham is an independent scholar and writer from Minnesota.