On Sale: October 1, 2013
Featuring: Laura Ingalls Wilder; Rose Wilder Lane
Trade Size / e-Book
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Historical | Non-Fiction Biography
In 1928, Rose Wilder Lane—world traveler, journalist, much-
published magazine writer—returned from an Albanian sojourn
to her parents’ Ozark farm. Almanzo Wilder was 71, Laura 61,
and Rose felt obligated to stay and help. To make life
easier, she built them a new home, while she and Helen
Boylston transformed the farmhouse into a rural writing
retreat and filled it with visiting New Yorkers. Rose sold
magazine stories to pay the bills for both households, and
despite the subterranean tension between mother and
daughter, life seemed good.
Then came the Crash. Rose’s money vanished, the magazine
market dried up, and the Depression darkened the nation.
That’s when Laura wrote her autobiography, “Pioneer Girl,”
the story of growing up in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, on
the Kansas prairie, and by the shores of Silver Lake. The
rest—the eight remarkable books that followed—is literary
But it isn’t the history we thought we knew. For the
surprising truth is that Laura’s stories were publishable
only with Rose’s expert rewriting. Based on Rose’s
unpublished diaries and Laura’s letters, A Wilder Rose tells
the true story of the decade-long, intensive, and often
troubled collaboration that produced the Little House books—
the collaboration that Rose and Laura deliberately hid from
their agent, editors, reviewers, and readers.
Why did the two women conceal their writing partnership?
What made them commit what amounts to one of the longest-
running deceptions in American literature? And what happened
in those years to change Rose from a left-leaning liberal to
a passionate Libertarian?
In this impeccably researched novel and with a deep insight
into the book-writing business gained from her own
experience as an author and coauthor, Susan Wittig Albert
follows the clues that take us straight to the heart of this
fascinating literary mystery.
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