People are snapping up the autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author behind the hit Little House on the Prairie books, making it a surprise hit. As the Inquisitr reported, the book was first published in November by the South Dakota Historical Society Press. Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography takes an unadulterated look at life on the prairie in the 19th century.
While most people are familiar with the idyllic stories of the 11-book Little House series and the television show they inspired, this story tells about the hard life led by many pioneers who settled the American Midwest. This book is the first draft of Laura Ingalls’ autobiography before it was transformed into the sedate story everyone has read or seen on television.
As reported by the Christian Science Monitor, the book is still selling well and is currently at number eight on Amazon’s bestsellers list. Pioneer Girl depicts 16 years of travels across the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa.
Wilder recounts the financial hardship that her family endured and the apartments they lived in instead of the cozy home depicted on the Little House on the Prairie TV series. There were times the family had to flee in the middle of the night because they couldn’t afford to pay the rent.
Life could be violent at times and, as reported by the Telegraph, the book recalls an attempted rape by the husband of a sick woman she took care of that Wilder had to defend herself against. She also tells about a neighbor getting drunk and setting fire to his own bedroom and dragging his wife out of it by her hair.
The director of the small publishing house, Nancy Tystad Koupal, said they wanted to depict the real story and tell about Wilder’s relationship with her daughter.
“We also wanted to explore her relationship with her daughter Rose, who was her editor and the one who convinced her to write her memoirs. Then, we wanted to show the difference between fiction and reality.”
Sales began to boom after attention was drawn to the book by National Public Radio and other media outlets. The book became so popular that the first printing was sold out within a few weeks and it even briefly outsold American Sniper, the autobiography about Navy Seal Chris Kyle.
The initial run was 15,000 books, and they printed another 45,000 after that run sold out. The book is now in its third printing. Another top seller for the South Dakota Historical Society was a biography about Wilder called Laura Ingalls: A Writer’s Life.
[Image by famousauthors.org]