Caroline Fraser - Prairie Fires - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780708898680
    • Publication date:23 Nov 2017
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    • ISBN:9780708898666
    • Publication date:23 Nov 2017

Prairie Fires

The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

By Caroline Fraser

  • Hardback
  • £20.00

The first comprehensive historical biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the beloved author of the Little House on the Prairie book series

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD

SHORTLISTED FOR THE CUNDILL HISTORY PRIZE

'Just as gripping as the original novels . . . As pacy and vivid as one of Wilder's own narratives, this surprising biography is immensely revealing both about Wilder and about America's founding myths' Sunday Times

'"Little House" devotees will appreciate the extraordinary care and energy Fraser devotes to uncovering the details of a life that has been expertly veiled by myth' New York Times Book Review

Millions of readers of the 'Little House' books believe they know Laura Ingalls Wilder - the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains as her family chased their American dream. But the true story of her life has never been fully told.

Drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries and public records, Caroline Fraser masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder's biography, uncovering the grown-up story behind the best-loved childhood epic of pioneer life.

Set against nearly a century of unimaginable change, from the Homestead Act and the Indian Wars to the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, Wilder's life was full of drama and adversity. Settling on the frontier amid land-rush speculation, her family endured Biblical tribulations of locusts and drought, poverty and want, before she left at the age of eighteen to marry Almanzo. This is where the books end, but there is so much more to tell; deep in debt after a series of personal tragedies, Laura and Almanzo uprooted themselves once again, crisscrossing the country, taking menial jobs to support the family. In middle age, she began writing a farm advice column, prodded by her journalist daughter Rose. And at the age of sixty, fearing the loss of almost everything in the Depression, she turned to children's books, recasting her extraordinarily difficult childhood as a triumphal vision of homesteading - achieving fame and fortune in the process.

Laura Ingalls Wilder's life is one of the most astonishing rags-to-riches stories in American letters. Offering fresh insight and new discoveries, Prairie Fires reveals the complex woman who defined the American pioneer character, and whose artful blend of fact and fiction grips us to this day.

Biographical Notes

Caroline Fraser is the editor of the Library of America edition of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books, and the author of Rewilding the World and God's Perfect Child. Her writing has appeared in the New York Review of Books, New Yorker, Atlantic, Los Angeles Times and London Review of Books, among other publications. She lives in New Mexico.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780708898697
  • Publication date: 23 Nov 2017
  • Page count: 640
  • Imprint: Fleet
[This new biography is] just as gripping as the original novels . . . As pacy and vivid as one of Wilder's own narratives, this surprising biography is immensely revealing both about Wilder and about America's founding myths — Eleanor Mills, Sunday Times
Fraser's gripping account is much more than a biography. Hugely recommended, even if you haven't read Wilder — Claire Lowdon, Sunday Times, Books of the Year
A fascinating tale, which spans an extraordinary period of American history . . . Whether you're a Wilder fan or have never picked up one of her books, this is compelling stuff - and as a history of the American dream, it's hard to beat — Telegraph
The sweep of the story is magnificent — Laura Freeman, The Times
Memories can be both "treasures" and "consuming fires of torment", as Laura Ingalls Wilder knew. Caroline Fraser's rigorously researched biography shows how the author's life was so much more painful than it appears in her writings. Having combed through manuscripts, letters and other documents, Fraser has gained insight into the history that shaped her, including the dust bowl and the great depression. She explores the dreams that sustained the writer - and gets to the heart of a pioneer spirit. Here is an atmospheric portrait of places as much as of a person, too: the log cabin in which Wilder was born, the Great Plains, the dense forests and, of course, the prairies — Anita Sethi, Observer
Tells a story that is far more intriguing than the myth — Oldie
Caroline Fraser's expert account of both Laura and her troubled daughter Rose Wilder Lane, who is widely thought to have over-influenced her mother's oeuvre, minutely dissects their related lives and careers to explain and illustrate modern America's inviolate founding myth . . . should stand as the last word on a long life...Her story is everything you never knew and, now more than ever, need to understand about a defining element of the national character and the great American dream — Country Life
An absorbing new biography [that] deserves recognition as an essential text.... For anyone who has drifted into thinking of Wilder's 'Little House' books as relics of a distant and irrelevant past, reading Prairie Fires will provide a lasting cure.... Meanwhile, 'Little House' devotees will appreciate the extraordinary care and energy Fraser devotes to uncovering the details of a life that has been expertly veiled by myth — Patricia Nelson Limerick, New York Times Book Review
The definitive biography...Magisterial and eloquent...A rich, provocative portrait — Star Tribune
Fraser's meticulous, smart, historically informed biography shows where the books hew to - and diverge from - the facts of Wilder's long and eventful life...Fraser got a head start on her work for this biography when she edited the Library of America editions of Laura Ingalls Wilder's writing. Even readers who have already enjoyed those annotated volumes will find a trove of new material in Prairie Fires, which puts the books in a richer, more complicated context without undermining their value. Fraser concludes, "They are not, as Wilder and her daughter had claimed, true in every particular. Yet the truth about our history is in them. ...Anyone who would ask where we came from and why, must reckon with them — Sarah Harrison Smith, the Amazon Book Review, An Amazon Best Book of November 2017
Unforgettable... A magisterial biography, which surely must be called definitive. Richly documented (it contains 85 pages of notes), it is a compelling, beautifully written story.... One of the more interesting aspects of this wonderfully insightful book is its delineation of the fraught relationship between Wilder and her deeply disturbed, often suicidal daughter. But it is its marriage of biography and history - the latter providing such a rich context for the life - that is one of the great strengths of this indispensable book — Booklist, starred review
Engrossing... Exhilarating... Lovers of the series will delight in learning about real-life counterparts to classic fictional episodes, but, as Fraser emphasizes, the true story was often much harsher. Meticulously tracing the Ingalls and Wilder families' experiences through public records and private documents, Fraser discovers failed farm ventures and constant money problems, as well as natural disasters even more terrifying and devastating in real life than in Wilder's writing — Publishers Weekly
In the twenty-first century, the tense and secret authorial partnership between Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane has emerged as the most complex and fascinating psychological saga of mother-daughter collaboration in American literary history. Caroline Fraser's deeply researched and stimulating biography analyzes their controversial relationship and places Wilder's influential fiction in the contexts of other myths of pioneer women and the frontier — Elaine Showalter
A fantastic book. We've long understood the Little House series to be a great American story, but Caroline Fraser brings it unprecedented new context, as she masterfully chronicles the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family alongside the complicated history of our nation. Prairie Fires represents a significant milestone in our understanding of Wilder's life, work, and legacy — Wendy McClure, author of The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie
Robinson

Ten Things Video Games Can Teach Us

Jordan Erica Webber, Daniel Griliopoulos
Authors:
Jordan Erica Webber, Daniel Griliopoulos

WOULD YOU KILL ONE PERSON TO SAVE FIVE OTHERS?If you could upload all of your memories into a machine, would that machine be you? Is it possible we're all already artificial intelligences, living inside a simulation?These sound like questions from a philosophy class, but in fact they're from modern, popular video games. Philosophical discussion often uses thought experiments to consider ideas that we can't test in real life, and media like books, films, and games can make these thought experiments far more accessible to a non-academic audience. Thanks to their interactive nature, video games can be especially effective ways to explore these ideas.Each chapter of this book introduces a philosophical topic through discussion of relevant video games, with interviews with game creators and expert philosophers. In ten chapters, this book demonstrates how video games can help us to consider the following questions:1. Why do video games make for good thought experiments? (From the ethical dilemmas of the Mass Effect series to 'philosophy games'.)2. What can we actually know? (From why Phoenix Wright is right for the wrong reasons to whether No Man's Sky is a lie.)3. Is virtual reality a kind of reality? (On whether VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive deal in mass-market hallucination.)4. What constitutes a mind? (From the souls of Beyond: Two Souls to the synths of Fallout 4.)5. What can you lose before you're no longer yourself? (Identity crises in the likes of The Swapper and BioShock Infinite.)6. Does it mean anything to say we have choice? (Determinism and free will in Bioshock, Portal 2 and Deus Ex.)7. What does it mean to be a good or dutiful person? (Virtue ethics in the Ultima series and duty ethics in Planescape: Torment.)8. Is there anything better in life than to be happy? (Utilitarianism in Bioshock 2 and Harvest Moon.)10. How should we be governed, for whom and by who? (Government and rights in Eve Online, Crusader Kings, Democracy 3 and Fable 3.)11. Is it ever right to take another life? And how do we cope with our own death? (The Harm Thesis and the good death in To The Moon and Lost Odyssey.)

Moon Travel

Moon Mount Rushmore & the Black Hills (Fourth Edition)

Laural A. Bidwell
Authors:
Laural A. Bidwell

Experience the open skies of the Badlands, the rolling prairies of the West, and one of America's most famous monuments with Moon Mount Rushmore & The Black Hills. Inside you'll find:Strategic, flexible itineraries tailored for adventure seekers, families, history buffs, road-trippers, and moreRecommendations for outdoor recreation including hiking, climbing, fishing, backpacking, and more, plusessential packing tips and health and safety informationThe top sights and unique experiences: Say hello to the carved granite faces of the presidents and hike red rock canyons and hills covered in ponderosa pine. Spot bison, elk, and mountain goats and see wild horses roaming the grassy flatlands. Test yourself by climbing the tallest peak east of the Rockies or get your adrenaline going at a rodeo. Visit historic sites, galleries, and museums to learn about Lakota history. Soak in hot springs, pan for gold, or enjoy the solitude of the prairie and sleep under a field of starsRespectfully connect with Native American culture: Visit the Crazy Horse Memorial or attend a powwow ceremony to see traditional dances and sample authentic cuisineValuable insight from seasoned adventurer and local expert Laural A. BidwellFull-color, vibrant photos and detailed maps throughoutUp-to-date information on park fees, passes, directions, and reservations to Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, Custer State Park, and Wind Cave National ParkCoverage of gateway cities and towns including Rapid City, Hill City, and KeystoneHonest advice for families, seniors, international visitors, travelers with disabilities, and traveling with petsThorough background on the culture, history, wildlife, and terrainWith Moon Mount Rushmore & The Black Hills, you can plan your trip your way.

Little, Brown

An Orchestra of Minorities

Chigozie Obioma
Authors:
Chigozie Obioma

'Timely, portentous and powerful, Obioma's second novel confirms his remarkable talent' Independent'Chigozie Obioma truly is the heir to Chinua Achebe' New York Times Book Review'A deeply empathetic, complex and gut-wrenchingly human narrative' Nicola Dennis-Benn'A spectacular artistic leap forwards' Guardian, Eileen Battersby__________________________________________________________FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE SHORTLISTED NOVEL, THE FISHERMENUmuahia, Nigeria. Chinonso, a young poultry farmer, sees a woman attempting to jump to her death from a highway bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his most prized chickens into the water below to demonstrate the severity of the fall. The woman, Ndali, is moved by his sacrifice.Bonded by this strange night on the bridge, Chinonso and Ndali fall in love. But Ndali is from a wealthy family, and when they officially object to the union because he is uneducated, Chinonso sells most of his possessions to attend a small college in Cyprus. Once in Cyprus, he discovers that all is not what it seems. Furious at a world which continues to relegate him to the sidelines, Chinonso gets further and further away from his dream, from Ndali and the place he called home.In this contemporary twist of Homer's Odyssey, in the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition, Chigozie Obioma weaves a heart-wrenching epic about the tension between destiny and determination.

PublicAffairs

Freak Kingdom

Timothy Denevi
Authors:
Timothy Denevi

Hunter S. Thompson is best remembered today as a caricature: drug-addled, sharp-witted, and passionate; played with bowlegged aplomb by Johnny Depp; memorialized as a Doonesbury character. In all this entertainment, the true figure of Thompson has unfortunately been forgotten.In this perceptive, dramatic book, Tim Denevi recounts the moment when Thompson found his calling. As the Kennedy assassination and the turmoil of the 60s paved the way for Richard Nixon, Thompson greeted him with two very powerful emotions: fear and loathing. In his fevered effort to take down what he saw as a rising dictator, Thompson made a kind of Faustian bargain, taking the drugs he needed to meet newspaper deadlines and pushing himself beyond his natural limits. For ten years, he cast aside his old ambitions, troubled his family, and likely hastened his own decline, along the way producing some of the best political writing in our history.This remarkable biography reclaims Hunter Thompson for the enigmatic true believer he was: not a punchline or a cartoon character, but a fierce, colorful opponent of fascism in a country that suddenly seemed all too willing to accept it.

Robinson

Rule Makers, Rule Breakers

Michele J. Gelfand
Authors:
Michele J. Gelfand

'A groundbreaking analysis of what used to be an impenetrable mystery: how and why do cultures differ? ... Anyone interested in our cultural divides will find tremendous insight in Rule Makers, Rule Breakers' - Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment NowWhy are clocks in Germany always correct, while those in Brazil are frequently wrong? Why are Singaporeans jailed for selling gum? Why do women in New Zealand have three times the sex of females worldwide? Why was the Daimler-Chrysler merger ill-fated from the start? And why does each generation of Americans give their kids weirder and weirder names? Curious about the answers to these and other questions, award-winning social psychologist Michele Gelfand has spent two decades studying both tight societies (with clearly stated rules and codes of ethics) and loose societies (more informal communities with weak or ambiguous norms). Putting each under the microscope, she conducted research in more than fifty countries and collaborated with political scientists, neuroscientists, computer scientists, anthropologists, and archaeologists. Her fascinating conclusion: behaviour seems largely dependent on perceived threats. It's why certain nations seem predisposed to tangle with others; some American states identify as "Red" and others as "Blue"; and those attending a sports contest, health club, or school function behave in prescribed ways. Rule Makers, Rule Breakers reveals how to predict national variations around the globe, why some leaders innovate and others don't, and even how a tight vs. loose system can determine happiness. Consistently riveting and always illuminating, Michele Gelfand's book helps us understand how a single cultural trait dramatically affects even the smallest aspects of our lives.'Fascinating and profound...It's quite possibly this year's best book on culture' - Roy F. Baumeister, bestselling co-author of Willpower and author of The Cultural Animal'This brilliant book is full of well-documented insights that will change the way you look at yourself and at the world around you' - Barry Schwartz, bestselling author of The Paradox of Choice, Practical Wisdom, and Why We Work

Fleet

The Rules Do Not Apply

Ariel Levy
Authors:
Ariel Levy

'Every deep feeling a human is capable of will be shaken loose by this short, but profound book' David Sedaris'I wanted what we all want: everything. We want a mate who feels like family and a lover who is exotic, surprising. We want to be youthful adventurers and middle-aged mothers. We want intimacy and autonomy, safety and stimulation, reassurance and novelty, coziness and thrills. But we can't have it all.'Ariel Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she lived believing that conventional rules no longer applied - that marriage doesn't have to mean monogamy, that aging doesn't have to mean infertility, that she could be 'the kind of woman who is free to do whatever she chooses'. But all of her assumptions about what she can control are undone after a string of overwhelming losses.'I thought I had harnessed the power of my own strength and greed and love in a life that could contain it. But it has exploded.'Levy's own story of resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed - and what never can.

Abacus

Less

Andrew Sean Greer
Authors:
Andrew Sean Greer

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018 'You will sob little tears of joy' Nell Zink'I recommend it with my whole heart' Ann Patchett'I adore this book' Armistead Maupin'Charming, languid and incredibly funny, I absolutely adored Arthur' Jenny Colgan 'Marvellously, endearingly, unexpectedly funny' Gary Shteyngart'Bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful' New York Times Book Review'A fast and rocketing read . . . a wonderful, wonderful book!' Karen Joy Fowler'Hilarious, and wise, and abundantly funny' Adam HaslettWHO SAYS YOU CAN'T RUN AWAY FROM YOUR PROBLEMS? Arthur Less is a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the post: it is from an ex-boyfriend of nine years who is engaged to someone else. Arthur can't say yes - it would be too awkward; he can't say no - it would look like defeat. So, he begins to accept the invitations on his desk to half-baked literary events around the world. From France to India, Germany to Japan, Arthur almost falls in love, almost falls to his death, and puts miles between him and the plight he refuses to face. Less is a novel about mishaps, misunderstandings and the depths of the human heart.

PublicAffairs

Great American Outpost

Maya Rao
Authors:
Maya Rao
Running Press Adult

Tin Can Homestead

Natasha Lawyer, Brett Bashaw
Authors:
Natasha Lawyer, Brett Bashaw
Fleet

Sharp

Michelle Dean
Authors:
Michelle Dean
Abacus

The Stars are Fire

Anita Shreve
Authors:
Anita Shreve

'Long before Liane Moriarty was spinning her Big Little Lies, Shreve was spicing up domestic doings..She still is, as effectively as ever, this time with a narrative literally lit from within' New York TimesThe brilliantly gripping new novel from the New York Times best-selling author of The Pilot's Wife (an Oprah's Book Club selection).Hot breath on Grace's face. Claire is screaming, and Grace is on her feet. As she lifts her daughter, a wall of fire fills the window. Perhaps a quarter of a mile back, if even that. Where's Gene? Didn't he come home? 1947. Fires are racing along the coast of Maine after a summer-long drought, ravaging thousands of acres, causing unprecedented confusion and fear. Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her difficult and unpredictable husband Gene joins the volunteers fighting to bring the fire under control. Along with her best friend, Rosie, and Rosie's two young children, the women watch in horror as their houses go up in flames, then walk into the ocean as a last resort. They spend the night frantically trying to save their children. When dawn comes, they have miraculously survived, but their lives are forever changed: homeless, penniless, and left to face an uncertain future.As Grace awaits news of her husband's fate, she is thrust into a new world in which she must make a life on her own, beginning with absolutely nothing; she must find work, a home, a way to provide for her children. In the midst of devastating loss, Grace discovers glorious new freedoms - joys and triumphs she could never have expected her narrow life with Gene could contain - and her spirit soars. And then the unthinkable happens, and Grace's bravery is tested as never before.

Corsair

A Thousand Mornings

Mary Oliver
Authors:
Mary Oliver

I go down to the shore in the morningand depending on the hour the wavesare rolling in or moving out, and I say, oh, I am miserable,what shall-what should I do? And the sea saysin its lovely voice:Excuse me, I have work to do.Whether studying the leaves of a tree or mourning her treasured dog Percy, Mary Oliver is beautifully open to the teachings contained within the smallest of moments. In A Thousand Mornings she explores, with startling clarity, humour and kindness, the mysteries of our daily experience.

Corsair

Felicity

Mary Oliver
Authors:
Mary Oliver

'And just like that, like a simpleneighbourhood event, a miracle istaking place.''If I have any secret stash of poems, anywhere, it might be about love, not anger,' Mary Oliver once said in an interview. Finally, in Felicity, we can immerse ourselves in Oliver's love poems. Here, great happiness abounds. Our most delicate chronicler of physical landscape, Oliver has described her work as loving the world. With Felicity she examines what it means to love another person. She opens our eyes again to the territory within our own hearts; to the wild and to the quiet. In these poems, she describes - with joy - the strangeness and wonder of human connection.

Corsair

The Refugees

Viet Thanh Nguyen
Authors:
Viet Thanh Nguyen
Hachette Audio

Force of Nature

Jane Harper
Authors:
Jane Harper

'THE NEW QUEEN OF CRIME' Sunday TimesThe gripping new novel from the author of the Sunday Times top ten bestseller, Waterstones Thriller of the Month and Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year, The Dry. FIVE WENT OUT. FOUR CAME BACK...Is Alice here? Did she make it? Is she safe? In the chaos, in the night, it was impossible to say which of the four had asked after Alice's welfare. Later, when everything got worse, each would insist it had been them.Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.The hike through the rugged landscape is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case - and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.

Virago

Molly Keane

Sally Phipps
Authors:
Sally Phipps

Molly Keane (1904 - 96) was an Irish novelist and playwright (born in County Kildare) most famous for Good Behaviour which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Hailed as the Irish Nancy Mitford in her day; as well as writing books she was the leading playwright of the '30s, her work directed by John Gielgud. Between 1928 and 1956, she wrote eleven novels, and some of her earlier plays, under the pseudonym M.J. Farrell. In 1981, aged seventy, she published Good Behaviour under her own name. The manuscript, which had languished in a drawer for many years, was lent to a visitor, the actress Peggy Ashcroft, who encouraged Keane to publish it.Molly Keane's novels reflect the world she inhabited; she was from a 'rather serious hunting and fishing, church-going family'. She was educated, as was the custom in Anglo-Irish households, by a series of governesses and then at boarding school. Distant and awkward relationships between children and their parents would prove to be a recurring theme for Keane. Maggie O'Farrell wrote that 'she writes better than anyone else about the mother-daughter relationship, in all its thorny, fraught, inescapable complexity.'Here, for the first time, is her biography and, written by one of her two daughters, it provides an honest portrait of a fascinating, complicated woman who was a brilliant writer and a portrait of the Anglo-Irish world of the first half of the twentieth century.

Corsair

Future Home of the Living God

Louise Erdrich
Authors:
Louise Erdrich
Constable

Cut It Out

Bryan 'The Brush' Burnsides
Authors:
Bryan 'The Brush' Burnsides

What do all despots and dictators across the ages have in common? Homicidal tendencies? Ruthless megalomania? A desire to enslave millions? Of course! They're not working for Médecins Sans Frontières? . . . but that isn't the whole story. It's all been foretold in the hair, baby.Combing through history, every badass from Genghis Khan to Donald Trump has clambered up the pole to ultimate power on the back of some of the most radical hairdos the world has seen. It's a proven scientific fact that the badder the dude, the bigger the rug statement and in Cut It Out we feature looks that will blow your stack and have you sprinting to the nearest salon to rock your locks.Award-winning stylist Bryan 'The Brush' Burnsides brings decades of prime salon experience to his definitive study of nifty trims for nasty guys.In Cut It Out Burnsides reveals just how the original 'dos were done and shares the intimate trade secrets of today's underground stylists, hell-bent on creating total retro-hair war. Dust off that Mao suit, slip on that armband and get ready for Big Bad Hair!Cut It Out is a spoof guide to the hairstyles of despots and dictators over the centuries that have determined how we view such despicable individuals. Utilising the language of the salon and contemporary hair and beauty trade publications, the book critically examines the hairstyles that are the ultimate definition of 'bad' (and badder) and offers a 'how-to' guide for those brave enough to copy the 'dos of the dastardly, the demonic and downright devious. From Genghis Khan to Grigori Rasputin via Donald Trump and Putin (taking in a few Nazis en route) Cut It Out is both a valuable historic document and outré-cool style guide to the world's most counter-intuitive crops.

Virago

Outsiders

Lyndall Gordon
Authors:
Lyndall Gordon
Corsair

Manhattan Beach

Jennifer Egan
Authors:
Jennifer Egan