Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

July 9, 2018 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
The Stable at The Mount
2 Plunkett St
Lenox, MA 01240
$30 general; $25 Mount members
Photo by Hal Espen

Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Biography and the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography, Caroline Fraser will present her latest book: Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls—the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains, and the woman who wrote the famous autobiographical books. But the true story of her life has never been fully told. The Little House books were not only fictionalized but brilliantly edited, a profound act of myth-making and self-transformation. Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Fraser masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder’s biography, setting the record straight regarding charges of ghostwriting that have swirled around the books and uncovering the grown-up story behind the most influential childhood epic of pioneer life.  Prairie Fires is one of The New York Times‘ 10 Best Books of 2017 and a finalist for Columbia Journalism School’s Mark Lynton History Prize.

The lecture, which will be held in the historic Stable, will be followed by a tea and book signing. The doors will open at 3:15 p.m.


Eventbrite - The 2018 Summer Lecture Series

Caroline Fraser was born in Seattle and holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University in English and American literature. Formerly on the editorial staff of The New Yorker, she is the author of two additional nonfiction books, God’s Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church, and Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution, all published by Metropolitan Books. She served as editor of the Library of America edition of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books and has written for The New YorkerThe New York Review of BooksThe Atlantic MonthlyOutside Magazine, and The London Review of Books, among other publications.

Refund requests will only be honored if made more than one week prior to lecture date.

Lecture Series books can be purchased in advance from The Mount’s Bookstore! Mount members receive a 10% discount.  Everyone receives a 15% discount if all 9 books are purchased together. If you would like to order your book(s) ahead of the lecture, e-mail our Bookstore Manager Patricia at

We would like to thank Blantyre, a Relais & Chateau property, for their generous donation and support of this season’s Summer Lecture Series at The Mount.

The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact The Mount at 413-551-5100 or by email,, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event. Caregivers are admitted free-of-charge.