Bad news first, shall we?
The bad news in the world of Laura comes from The Columbia Daily Tribune in Columbia, Missouri. The University of Missouri System announced earlier this week that it was going to shut down its press. This is sobering for the Laura Ingalls Wilder community, as many books—William Holtz’s Ghost in the Little House, Amy Lauters’ The Rediscovered Writings of Rose Wilder Lane, John Miller’s Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Stephen Hines’ Little House in the Ozarks among them—were published by the University of Missouri Press. (Rose Wilder Lane herself had personal ties to the University of Missouri.)
But the good news—it is fabulous. Pioneer Girl is going to be published! That’s right, the autobiography Laura wrote before the Little House books were published is going to be available through the South Dakota State Historical Society Press in the summer of 2013.
We’ve been waiting a long time for this one. Die-hard fans have copies of the manuscript, which has always been available through the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa. But obtaining it has never been easy. The SDSHS Press has negotiated a deal with the Little House Heritage Trust to publish an annotated version of the autobiography, largely on the strength of 2010 LauraPalooza speaker Pamela Smith Hill’s extraordinary 2007 biography Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life.
Pre-order your copy (cost is $35) by emailing the SDSHS Press at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One door closes, another opens.