The Wilder Life: My Adventures In The Lost World Of Little House On The Prairie by Wendy McclureThe Wilder Life: My Adventures In The Lost World Of Little House On The Prairie by Wendy Mcclure

The Wilder Life: My Adventures In The Lost World Of Little House On The Prairie

byWendy Mcclure

Hardcover | April 19, 2011

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For anyone who has ever wanted to step into the world of a favorite book, here is a pioneer pilgrimage, a tribute to Laura Ingalls Wilder, and a hilarious account of butter-churning obsession.

Wendy McClure is on a quest to find the world of beloved Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder-a fantastic realm of fiction, history, and places she's never been to, yet somehow knows by heart. She retraces the pioneer journey of the Ingalls family- looking for the Big Woods among the medium trees in Wisconsin, wading in Plum Creek, and enduring a prairie hailstorm in South Dakota. She immerses herself in all things Little House, and explores the story from fact to fiction, and from the TV shows to the annual summer pageants in Laura's hometowns. Whether she's churning butter in her apartment or sitting in a replica log cabin, McClure is always in pursuit of "the Laura experience." Along the way she comes to understand how Wilder's life and work have shaped our ideas about girlhood and the American West.

The Wilder Life is a loving, irreverent, spirited tribute to a series of books that have inspired generations of American women. It is also an incredibly funny first-person account of obsessive reading, and a story about what happens when we reconnect with our childhood touchstones-and find that our old love has only deepened.
Wendy McClure holds an M.F.A. in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She is the author of I’m Not the New Me and the creator of the online journal Pound, as well as the humor site Candyboots. She is a columnist for Bust, a regular contributor to the website Television Without Pity, and her writing has also appeared in Glamour, The ...
Title:The Wilder Life: My Adventures In The Lost World Of Little House On The PrairieFormat:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 8.54 × 5.77 × 1.25 inPublished:April 19, 2011Publisher:RiverheadLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1594487804

ISBN - 13:9781594487804


Rated 5 out of 5 by from All things Laura... Subtitled: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie. When I saw The Wilder Life, I just knew I had to read it. I used to bicycle down to the Byron Library once a week and pester Miss Spicer for her next book recommendation. I had finished all of The Borrowers (I really wanted to live in their little mouse world) when she recommended Little House in the Big Woods. Well, I fell in love with this series and the whole kit and caboodle. I wanted to be Laura Ingalls. So did Wendy McClure. McClure's parents are moving, so Wendy comes over to help with their garage sale. She comes upon her childhood copy of Little House in the Big Woods. Rereading it brings it all back... "...I wanted to live in one room with my whole family and have a pathetic corncob doll all my own. I wanted to wear a calico sunbonnet - or rather, I wanted to not wear a calico sunbonnet, the way Laura did, letting it hang down her back by its ties. I wanted to do chores because of those books. Carry water, churn butter, make headcheese. I wanted dead rabbits brought home for supper. I wanted to go out into the backyard and just, I don't know, grab stuff off trees, or uproot things from the ground, and bring it all inside in a basket and have my parents say "My land! What a harvest!" And so begins the exploration of all things Laura - Laura world as she comes to call it. McClure tries all the things she wanted to do - churning butter, making by pouring syrup in the snow, reproducing recipes and more. She tracks down everything ever written about the Ingalls/Wilders, in print, on the Internet and finally in person. McClure (often with her boyfriend Chris) retraces the journeys of the Ingalls family, visits the homesteads and museums and meets others who love Laura as much as she does. (and some who are downright obsessive) It was fascinating to learn more about the 'real' Laura and the life and inspiration behind the books. Wendy McClure is an excellent writer. Her introspective search for Laura is told with charm and much humour. I found myself laughing out loud many times. I too found myself wondering what is is that attracted us as children to the books and stayed with us as adults. "I considered this as I stared up at the ceiling of our tent. Who knew how many times those books made me idly wish for a now other than the one I was in, that the world would somehow crack open and reveal a simpler life?" You don't need to be a Laura fan to enjoy The Wilder Life, but you'll definitely close the last page as a Wendy McClure fan. A memoir that kept me engaged from first page to last.
Date published: 2011-04-18

Editorial Reviews

"The Wilder Life is a tribute to the Little House books that's both reverent and irreverent-in a thoughtful, hilarious way. I couldn't put it down." -Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project "Mandatory reading for all "bonnetheads" - and the people who love them!" -Alison Arngrim, TV's Nellie Oleson and New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of A Prairie Bitch "Wendy McClure's The Wilder Life evoked so much of an almost palpable nostalgia that I felt like I was walking into my childhood dollhouse every time I opened the book. I absolutely loved this book." -Julie Klam, author of You Had Me at Woof "The Wilder Life perfectly captures the wistful, poignant, goofy nature of Little House lust. It also offers some important lessons on late 19th century land rights and butter churning. Now that's my kind of book!" -Meghan Daum, author of Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House