Go Wild(er)

For anyone who has ever wanted to step into the world of a favorite book, Wendy McClure’s new book The Wilder Life is a pioneer pilgrimage, a tribute to Laura Ingalls Wilder, and a hilarious account of butter-churning obsession. You can meet the author at Magers & Quinn Booksellers–7:30pm, Wednesday, April 20.

“Anyone who loved the Little House series is in for a treat, because in a new book, writer Wendy McClure really put her money where her sunbonnet is.–Jezebel.com

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 retraces 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, and explores 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.” Along the way she comes to understand how Wilder’s life and work have shaped our ideas about girlhood and the American West.

Wendy McClure has been writing about her obsessions online and in print for nearly a decade. In addition to her 2005 memoir, I’m Not the New Me, she is a columnist for BUST magazine and has contributed to The New York Times Magazine. McClure holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Chicago, where she is a senior editor at the children’s book publisher Albert Whitman & Company. You can read more from Wendy at www.wendymcclure.net. Details on the event at M&Q are here.–David E