Prairie Fires (Fraser) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
Caroline Fraser's absorbing new biography…deserves recognition as an essential text for getting a grip on the dynamics and consequences of this vast literary enterprise.… For anyone who has drifted into thinking of Wilder's Little House books as relics of a distant and irrelevant past, reading Prairie Fires will provide a lasting cure. Just as effectively, for readers with a pre-existing condition of enthusiasm for western American history and literature, this book will refresh and revitalize interpretations that may be ready for some rattling. Meanwhile, Little House devotees will appreciate the extraordinary care and energy Fraser brings to uncovering the details of a life that has been expertly veiled by myth (front page).
Patricia Nelson Limerick - New York Times Book Review

Fraser discovers failed farm ventures and constant money problems, as well as natural disasters even more terrifying and devastating in real life than in Wilder’s writing. She also…opens her subject to new scrutiny, which, for Wilder’s many fans, may be both exhilarating and disconcerting.
Publishers Weekly

[A] great way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of her birth. Fraser draws on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records to address gaps in Wilder's story and put to rest charges of ghostwriting. Fans are frothing.
Library Journal

Unforgettable.… magisterial…. Richly documented…, it is a compelling, beautifully written story.… One of the more interesting aspects of this wonderfully insightful book is… the fraught relationship between Wilder and her deeply disturbed, often suicidal daughter.

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