To celebrate the 150th birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder in 2017, the Pioneer Girl Project of the South Dakota State Historical Society has released a new book on the writer’s legacy.
In 2014, the South Dakota Historical Society Press released Wilder’s Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, edited by Pamela Smith Hill, which became a national bestseller. The new book, Pioneer Girl Perspectives: Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder takes a serious look at Wilder’s working life and at circumstances that developed her points of view. This rich source book from these Wilder scholars from across North America also explores, among other topics, the interplay of folklore in the Little House novels, women’s place on the American frontier, Rose Wilder Lane’s writing career, the strange episode of the Benders in Kansas, Wilder’s midwestern identity, and society’s ideas of childhood.
The book’s contents include:
- “Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder,” an Introduction by editor Nancy Tystad Koupal
- “Speech for the Detroit Book Fair, 1937,” by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- “The Strange Case of the Bloody Benders: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and Yellow Journalism,” by Caroline Fraser
- “‘Raise a Loud Yell’: Rose Wilder Lane, Working Writer,” by Amy Mattson Lauters
- “Pioneer Girl: Its Roundabout Path into Print,” by William Anderson
- “Little Myths on the Prairie,” by Michael Patrick Hearn
- “Her Stories Take You with Her: The Lasting Appeal of Laura Ingalls Wilder,” an interview with Noel Silverman
- “Laura Ingalls Wilder as a Midwestern Pioneer Girl,” by John E. Miller
- “Women’s Place: Family, Home, and Farm,” by Paula M. Nelson
- “Fairy Tale, Folklore, and the Little House in the Deep Dark Woods,” by Sallie Ketcham
- “The Myth of Happy Childhood (and Other Myths about Frontiers, Families, and Growing Up),” by Elizabeth Jameson
- “Frontier Families and the Little House Where Nobody Dies,” by Ann Romines