I got excellent sell-in numbers for this selection of correspondence by the author of the beloved Little House on the Prairie series. When I asked why such big numbers, buyers showed me their sales for Pioneer Girl, the bestselling autobiography by Wilder published a few years ago. Fans of that book will likely be drawn to these further observations from Wilder.
Anderson, her biographer and the author of several other Wilder-themed books such as The Little House Guidebook, assembles letters spanning 62 years of her long, productive life, from 1894 to 1956. They mix Wilder’s common-sense advice, acute observations of Americana, and nostalgia for her childhood. Some radiate the pioneer virtues, spirited optimism, and pluck that give Wilder’s books enduring appeal. Others reflect a sharp-eyed entrepreneur intent on building her brand. A number of letters provide rich descriptions of road trips through California and the still untamed West….Wilder’s letters display a writer who kept her head amid growing fame, remaining sweet, down-to-earth, and immensely likable until her death in 1957.”
— Publishers Weekly
The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder (9780062419682) edited by William Anderson. $26.99 hardcover. 3/8/16 on sale.