New Wilder annotated autobiography released

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

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Members of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in De Smet traveled Nov. 20 to Pierre to pick up 100 cases of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography.”


LIW Society Director Cheryl Palmlund said board members spent four days unpacking boxes and filling orders. So far, they have mailed more than 450 copies.


“The phone was ringing off the hook. People are excited to get them,” Palmlund said. “We are still filling some orders.”


Although Wilder had already written newspaper articles, “Pioneer Girl,” written in 1930, was her first attempt at writing a book. Her unvarnished autobiography, intended for adult readers, was never published — until now.


“Pioneer Girl,” published by the South Dakota State Historical Society, features Wilder’s original text edited by Pamela Smith Hill. Photographs and Hill’s annotations throughout the book provide historical context. The book spans 16 years and includes serious topics such as domestic abuse, love triangles and alcoholism.


Palmlund said although publishers in pre-Depression 1930 may have thought Wilder’s first book would not have been what people wanted to read at that time, the author soon found success with her children’s series. “Little House in the Big Woods,” the first book in the series, was published in 1932.


Wilder’s “Little House” books are considered fiction, but were inspired by her childhood.


“Pioneer Girl” is available locally at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society.


Donna Palmlund

Staff Writer

The De Smet News

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