Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farm Journalist: Writings from the Ozarks
Laura Ingalls Wilder. University of Missouri Press, $34.95 (330pp) ISBN 978-0-8262-1771-4
Midwest history buffs will snatch up this collection of short essays from Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957), creator of the ""Little House on the Prairie"" series, originally published in the Missouri Ruralist between 1911 and 1924. Written in a homey, chatty style, Wilder's essays cover a wide array of topics, including the 1915 San Francisco Exhibition, where Wilder discovered foreign delicacies like German Honey Cake, as well as the changing roles of women at the beginning of the 20th century. In ""Who'll Do the Woman's Work?"" Ingalls writes that, since the war made it necessary for women to take up ""male"" jobs, ""Never again will anyone have the courage to say that women could not run world affairs if necessary."" Many columns feature simple advice for saving a few cents at a time, as well as the importance of cultivating readiness and counting one's blessings; given her often wistful tone, what Wilder does not say may be as telling as what she does. Those expecting sweet, ""Little House"" style family stories may be disappointed, but patient readers will discover a time and place chronicled with honesty and curiosity by a woman who was both ahead of her times and firmly rooted in the traditions of Midwest farm life.
Reviewed on: 04/28/2008
Other - 345 pages - 978-0-8262-6615-6