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Laura Ingalls Wilder's autobiography boasts big sales

Months after its publication, the autobiography by the 'Little House on the Prairie' writer is still selling well. Monitor writer Lane Brown called the autobiography 'fascinating.'

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    'Pioneer Girl' is by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
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Interest in author Laura Ingalls Wilder and her upbringing on America’s frontier have made her autobiography “Pioneer Girl” a bestseller. 

“Pioneer” was published last year. In the book, the author details her upbringing and her family’s journey traveling from states that included Kansas, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Many of Wilder’s experiences became the basis for her famous “Little House” book series.

“Pioneer” is still selling very well and is currently ranked at number eight on Amazon’s bestseller list, behind such big-name sellers like Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” Anthony Doerr’s “All the Light We Cannot See,” and Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train.” Meanwhile, it’s ranked at number seven on the IndieBound hardcover nonfiction list for the week of Feb. 5.

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The book was released by the South Dakota State Historical Society late last year and, according to Publishers Weekly, the book is already in its third printing as of the end of January. Another of the publisher's big sellers before “Pioneer” was a Laura Ingalls Wilder biography titled “Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life,” but “[the biography’s sales of] twelve thousand copies in eight years didn’t really prepare us for the kind of interest that [Wilder's] name on a book would bring,” SDHSP director Nancy Tystad Koupal told Publishers Weekly.

Monitor writer Lane Brown wrote of the book in a review, “I found it fascinating to read about the multiple steps that transferred Wilder’s stories…. At times the level of detail … can get in the way of the narrative flow…. But writers reading ‘Pioneer Girl’ will be intrigued by the process through which the original manuscript was worked into a bestselling book series. Readers who remember the Little House series will immediately pick up on those passages that made it into the final books, and recognize how many of Wilder’s accounts were re-ordered to optimize her narrative for young audiences.”

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