Rapid City Journal Article about Pioneer Girl Link Posted on July 5, 2012 by SDHSPress The Rapid City Journal ran this great piece about the Pioneer Girl Project and the forthcoming book. Share this:TwitterFacebookTumblrPinterestLike this:Like Loading...
I am so looking forward to finally reading Laura’s Pioneer Girl story after reading and hearing about it practically all my life. I cant wait to devour it! I appreciate all the hard work Pamela Smith Hill and staff is doing to make this book a reality and I’m sure it will be great. However… And I hesitate to even bring it up… And this is only my humble opinion…
Laura seems like an old trusted friend to me. As I read her biography, I always felt strange at her being referred to as “Wilder” throughout the entire book and it appears she will be the same in “Pioneer Girl” according to blogs and references on this website. I don’t know if it’s a professional Writer’s thing or a formal biography thing, or what but I always felt distanced from her being called by her last name. To me, Wilder is Almanzo, or any of his family members. To me, Laura is Laura, whether in her own books or any written about her. Referring to her as Laura, to me, creates a more warm, inviting, and even intimate relationship with her. Many times I had to briefly pause wondering if “Wilder” was referring to Laura or another member of the family.
Again, I have the utmost respect for this project. I just wanted to share how I felt about an old and trusted friend who I love reading about. Keep up the great work!
Thank you for your comments, Mark. By referring to Laura Ingalls Wilder by her last name, the Pioneer Girl Project strives to show her the respect that she is due as a professional writer of national stature. We always refer to a male writer by his last name within critical commentary on his work, and we would treat a woman no differently. It is also a useful way of differentiating the author herself from the character in her books. In such cases, Wilder is always Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Almanzo Wilder or any other Wilder goes by his or her first name—Almanzo or Eliza Jane, for example.
Wilder does refer to herself as “Laura” in the Pioneer Girl manuscript itself, so you will, indeed, find your old friend within the book.
Good point. I wondered about that also. Thank you to both of you.