Pioneer Girl

Pioneer Girl : The Annotated Autobiography

4.19 (4,878 ratings by Goodreads)

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Long hidden in archives, Laura Ingalls Wilder's original handwritten autobiography is a tribute to her family and her experiences as a pioneer. Written for an older audience, Pioneer Girl is her first-person narrative of the settling of Dakota Territory, the building of the railroad west, and life as a pioneer. The stories in this autobiography formed the basis of Wilder's international best-selling autobiographical novels, known as the Little House Series. For the first time, readers will have full access to the original manuscript that began it all.

Written in six tablets on lined paper, Pioneer Girl follows the Ingalls family through Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, back to Minnesota, and on to Dakota Territory over a sixteen-year period. Using revised Pioneer Girl manuscripts edited by Wilder's daughter Rose Wilder Lane, letters written between Wilder and Lane, photographs, newspapers, and other sources, Pamela Smith Hill and other editors of the Pioneer Girl Project lead readers through Wilder's early recollections and her first attempts at publication. While Laura Ingalls Wilder is a familiar figure, Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography re-introduces readers to the woman who defines the pioneer experience and gives new insight into her motivations and experiences.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 472 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 32.77mm | 1,465.1g
  • Pierre, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • annotated ed
  • 125
  • 0984504176
  • 9780984504176
  • 86,618

Flap copy

Follow the real Laura Ingalls and her family as they make their way west and discover that truth is as remarkable as fiction.

Hidden away since 1930, Laura Ingalls Wilder's original autobiography reveals the true stories of her pioneering life and shows how Wilder, as an author of growing skill, transformed her girlhood into one of the greatest children's series of all time, the Little House books. Some of her experiences will be familiar; some will be a surprise. This September, for the first time ever, Wilder's fans around the world will be able to read them all.

Pioneer Girl follows the Ingalls family's journey through Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, back to Minnesota, and on to Dakota Territory sixteen years of travels, unforgettable experiences, and the everyday people who became immortal through Wilder's fiction. Using additional manuscripts, letters, photographs, newspapers, and other sources, award-winning Wilder biographer Pamela Smith Hill adds valuable context and leads readers through Wilder's growth as a writer. Do you think you know Laura? Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography will re-introduce you to the woman who defined the pioneer experience for millions.
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Review quote

"Pioneer Girl provides a fascinating counterpoint to Wilder's sterilised chronicle of sunny life on the open prairie." -The Guardian "Pioneer Girl is thrilling and sad, and very revealing about the people in the Little House books and the times they lived in. ... It's not the charming read that Laura's Little House books are, but it's essential for anyone interested in finding out more about her life." The Irish Times "Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography ... is clearly the definitive work on Wilder. It thrills with new insights and mature content, educates with historical facts and documentation, and enlightens with cultural perspective and commentary, all while maintaining the spirit of adventure and integrity that is the backbone of the Little House world and Wilder herself." -Foreword Reviews "Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography offers Wilder's complete first draft of her own story, enhanced by scrupulous and wide-ranging new research... And I'm happy to say is a treasure... Wilder pulls off the difficult trick of telling a rich, satisfying story about good people being good. The Pa of Pioneer Girl is still a selfless provider, Ma is a skilled homemaker, Mary a prim playmate, and Laura a good-hearted tomboy. Their stories may have been tidied up on the path between nonfiction and fiction, but their characters remain reassuringly intact... Pioneer Girl is a welcome reminder of the power, even the genius of the Little House books... this annotated edition of Pioneer Girl will deepen and enrich a great American story." -The Slate Book Review
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About Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pamela Smith Hill is the award-winning author of the South Dakota State Historical Society Press book Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer's Life, along with three award-winning historical novels for young adults - Ghost Horses, The Last Grail Keeper, and Voice from the Border. She now lives in Portland, Oregon, after growing up in Missouri and starting her writing career in South Dakota.
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Rating details

4,878 ratings
4.19 out of 5 stars
5 45% (2,175)
4 35% (1,727)
3 16% (773)
2 3% (139)
1 1% (64)
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