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Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls—the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains, and the woman who wrote the famous autobiographical books. But the true story of her life has never been fully told. The Little House books were not only fictionalized but brilliantly edited, a profound act of myth-making and self-transformation. Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser—the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House series—masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder’s biography, setting the record straight regarding charges of ghostwriting that have swirled around the books and uncovering the grown-up story behind the most influential childhood epic of pioneer life.


For more, visit the official book website at




The National Book Critics Circle winners are announced — and they’re all women


By Carolyn Kellogg Los Angeles Times (TNS) Mar 21, 2018


Women swept the National Book Critics Circle awards, announced Thursday night in Manhattan. Women prevailed in all of the six competitive categories.


Joan Silber took the fiction prize for her novel “Improvement,” published by independent press Counterpoint. The story of a single mother in Harlem who becomes involved in criminal schemes with her ex-boyfriend, “Improvement” is about human connection and how we are changed over time.


The nonfiction prize went to Frances FitzGerald for her book “The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America,” a sweeping history of the Evangelical movement from the Puritan era to the 2016 presidential election.


Layli Long Soldier won the poetry prize for her acclaimed collection “Whereas.”


The autobiography prize went to Xiaolu Guo for her book “Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China.”


The prize in criticism went to Carina Chocano for her essay collection “You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages.”


The prize in biography went to Caroline Fraser for her book “Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder,” which tapped archival research to draw a fuller portrait of the author of the “Little House on the Prairie” books.


As a former member of the board of the National Book Critics Circle, I follow these awards with great interest. But I wasn’t able to attend — instead, like many others, I kept up with the proceedings on social media. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners.


©2018 Los Angeles Times

Prairie Fires is on The New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2017!


Praise for Prairie Fires:


*On The New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2017

*On The New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2017

*Cover of The New York Times Book Review

*Booklist (starred review) calls it "Unforgettable...A magisterial biography which surely must be called definitive." *Publishers Weekly calls it "Engrossing...Exhilarating."

*An Amazon Best Book of November 2017

*On Amazon's Top 20 Biographies of the Year

*A Library Reads Top 10 Books of November

*One of BBC Culture's Top 10 Books of November

*One of Bustle's 13 Best New Nonfiction Books of November

*Featured in Time Magazine and on NPR

Historian Patricia Nelson Limerick's review of Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, on the cover of The New York Times Book Review, November 26, 2017.

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, published in the UK by Fleet, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group.

Slate Q&A with Bill Anderson, editor of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Selected Letters.

Caroline Fraser’s interview with William Anderson, editor of the new Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, covers the enduring popularity of the Little House books, as well as the prickly relationship between Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane.

Library of America's two-volume edition of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House Books, edited by Caroline Fraser.


Rewilding the World offers the first definitive account of a visionary campaign to confront the mass extinction crisis, which--if unchecked--may destroy half of all species of plants and animals on earth by the end of the century. Breathtaking in scope and ambition, rewilding aims to save species by restoring habitats, reviving migration corridors, and brokering peace between people and predators. Traveling with wildlife biologists and conservationists, Fraser reports on the vast projects that are turning Europe's former Iron Curtain into a greenbelt, creating transfrontier Peace Parks to renew elephant routes throughout Africa, and linking protected areas from the Yukon to Mexico and beyond.


An inspiring story of scientific discovery and grassroots action, Rewilding the World offers hope for a richer, wilder future.