Speed Reads

this ain't your mama's little house on the prairie

Laura Ingalls Wilder's slightly risqué autobiography is finally being published

If you've ever longed for a NSFW edition of Little House on the Prairie, it's coming this fall.

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography isn't really that scandalous, but it does contain material that Laura Ingalls Wilder felt was unsuitable for children. Wilder tried to get the material published during the 1930s, but there wasn't any interest. "It's just that that first version was blunt, it was honest," Amy Lauters, an associate professor of mass media at Minnesota State University-Mankato, told The Associated Press. "You can read Pioneer Girl as nonfiction rather than fiction and get a better feeling of how the historical Ingalls family really lived, what their relationships were, and how they experienced the American West."

One of the stories Wilder shared in this manuscript was about a neighbor in Burr Oak, Iowa. In a drunken rage, the man set his room on fire and dragged his wife around by the hair. It didn't end until Wilder's father — the famous Pa from the Little House on the Prairie series — came to her aid. There are also tales of ill-fated love triangles.

The book will include misspellings and idiosyncrasies, in addition to added annotations that explain how Wilder created the Nellie Olson character and what it was like to live through the grasshopper plague of the 1870s. "It's certainly not the fantasized version we saw on Little House on the Prairie the television show," Lauters said.