The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie

Wendy McClure (Author)


Wendy McClure is on a quest to find the world of beloved Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder--a fantastic realm of fiction, history, and places she's never been to, yet somehow knows by heart. She traces the pioneer journey of the Ingalls family-- looking for the Big Woods among the medium trees in Wisconsin, wading in Plum Creek, and enduring a prairie hailstorm in South Dakota. She immerses herself in all things Little House--exploring the story from fact to fiction, and from the TV shows to the annual summer pageants in Laura's hometowns. Whether she's churning butter in her apartment or sitting in a replica log cabin, McClure is always in pursuit of "the Laura experience." The result is an incredibly funny first-person account of obsessive reading, and a story about what happens when we reconnect with our childhood touchstones--and find that our old love has only deepened.

Product Details

Riverhead Books
Publish Date
April 03, 2012
5.54 X 0.89 X 8.22 inches | 0.66 pounds
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About the Author

Wendy McClure has been writing about her obsessions for nearly a decade, both online and in print. She is the author of the 2005 memoir I'm Not the New Me and a columnist for BUST magazine, and has contributed to The New York Times Magazine and This American Life. She works as a children's book editor and lives in Chicago with her husband.


""The Wilder Life" is a tribute to the "Little House" books that's both reverent and irreverent-in a thoughtful, hilarious way. I couldn't put it down."
-Gretchen Rubin, author of "The Happiness Project"

"Mandatory reading for all "bonnetheads" - and the people who love them!"
-Alison Arngrim, TV's Nellie Oleson and "New York Times" bestselling author of "Confessions of A Prairie Bitch"

"Wendy McClure's "The Wilder Life" evoked so much of an almost palpable nostalgia that I felt like I was walking into my childhood dollhouse every time I opened the book. I absolutely loved this book."
-Julie Klam, author of "You Had Me at Woof "

""The Wilder Life" perfectly captures the wistful, poignant, goofy nature of Little House lust. It also offers some important lessons on late 19th century land rights and butter churning. Now that's my kind of book!"
-Meghan Daum, author of "Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House"