Laura Ingalls Wilder: Prairie to Page | American Masters

Dec 22, 2020

Tue. Dec. 29 at 8pm on WKAR-HD 23.1 & STREAMING | Explore the life, times and controversial legacy of the writer of the "Little House" series.

American Masters: Laura Ingalls Wilder - Prairie to Page presents an unvarnished look at the unlikely author whose autobiographical fiction helped shape American ideas of the frontier and self-reliance. A Midwestern farm woman who published her first novel at age 65, Laura Ingalls Wilder transformed her frontier childhood into the bestselling "Little House" series. The documentary delves into the legacy of the iconic pioneer as well as the way she transformed her early life into enduring legend, a process that involved a little-known collaboration with her daughter, Rose.

Wilder has an enduring fanbase---including self-proclaimed Bonnetheads---and the books and TV program loosely based on them have become cultural touchstones. Starting with "Little House in the Big Woods," (1932), the books chronicle the adventures of a family struggling to survive on the American frontier and have inspired four generations with the courage and determination of their heroine.

Though Wilder's stories emphasized real life and celebrated stoicism, she omitted the grimmer and contradictory details of her personal history: grinding poverty, government assistance, deprivation and the death of her infant son. In recent years, Wilder's racist depictions of American Indians and Black people have stirred controversy and made her less appealing to some readers, teachers and librarians. American Masters: Laura Ingalls Wilder - Prairie to Page reveals the truth behind the bestsellers, exploring a rags-to-riches story that has been embraced by millions of people worldwide.

Watch each episode at video.wkar.org during or after the premiere date.