cover image A Little House Sampler

A Little House Sampler

Laura Ingalls Wilder. University of Nebraska Press, $20 (243pp) ISBN 978-0-8032-1022-6

In this chronological arrangement of their autobiographical writings, gathered from many sources, including newspapers, magazines and abandoned manuscripts, we view the literary careers of a mother and daughter who carried on the family tradition of storytelling. Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose prairie girlhood and travels in the Dakota Territory in the early 1880s became the foundation for nine popular Little House books and the long-running Little House on the Prairie TV series, began her professional career, at the insistence of her daughter, when she was in her 60s. Although she departed from the much-loved family farm in the Ozarks to forge a literary career in New York, daughter Rose ( Free Land , Old Home Town ) drew on her early memories as well. Laura's writings promote the virtues and happiness to be found in hard work and simple things. Rose's fiction does not evade the harsh realities of homesteading or the difficulties encountered by her undeniably happy parents. In the various genres represented herearticles and essays, stories and poemsone hears again the voices of the last pioneering families. Photos not seen by PW. (August)