The Wilder Life is a new non-fiction book just published by Wendy McClure
Wendy is a Chicagoan and a fellow blogger and SCBWI member. This book is her memoir about Laura Ingalls Wilder's fictionalized memoir. Basically the Little House books are a house of mirrors. I'll let you read Wendy's book for the REAL STORY.
Truthfully, Wendy's reflections are not all that unique--and that's the genius of it. WE CAN ALL RELATE. I, too, had the dream of being BEST FRIENDS with Laura. I also had a plan where I would travel to all the Little House sights and document them. I was also aware that there were some inconsistencies shall we say with the story.
snip from book
You mean Laura Ingalls Wilder was bullshitting?
"I guess Laura never figured that there'd be people sitting around and able to look up every little detail of her life . . . "
The books have stood the test of time--just not of veracity. Of course for Laura, (she published the series as fiction) it was much easier to compress, conflate, or simply make stuff up than to try to stick to an exact timeline. And as readers, do we care? Isn't it the descriptions, the adventures that put us there, that drew us back again and again to the books. I WAS Laura.
My friend Mary Jo who just returned from a revision retreat put on by the Highlights people, see Founder's Workshops
where she met a mother and daughter team of writers--does this sound familiar? Laura and Rose--who were trying to write a memoir, but were having trouble deciding how much of it was true. Finally they decided to write it as a book for children. This approach, they decided, would free them, not limit them like memoir would. I'd hate to think of me and my mother writing a memoir--it would probably end in murder.
Anyway, tomorrow of the day after I plan to blog on my preparations for AROHO. http://www.aroomofherownfoundation.org/retreats.php
I'll be gone from August 8th - August 17th. A combination of planes, trains, automobiles, etc--not exactly covered wagons like Laura, but I'm sure I'll have some adventures.