Learn About the Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder in an Upcoming PBS Special

Southern Living
·2 min read


A new PBS film will explore the life of Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder. The American Masters series on PBS delves into the lives of American artists, those who have created the books, drama, and music that have become embedded in our cultural landscape. The latest addition to the program, American Masters: Laura Ingalls Wilder, will take a closer look at the life of the author of the Little House book series.

PBS says, “American Masters: Laura Ingalls Wilder 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 best-selling “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.”

The documentary is directed by Mary McDonagh Murphy, who also directed Harper Lee: American Masters. According to the Associated Press, “Melissa Gilbert, who as a child actor played Ingalls in the 1970s to ’80s TV series based on the novels, is part of the documentary that includes other cast members, Wilder biographers and writers Louise Erdrich and Roxane Gay.”

According to PBS, the documentary will feature “never-before-published letters, photographs and family artifacts.” It will also include “original interviews with Caroline Fraser, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her Wilder biography; Pamela Smith Hill, author of “Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life” and editor of Wilder’s New York Times bestselling memoir; [and] Wilder historian William Anderson.”

American Masters: Laura Ingalls Wilder will premiere on Tuesday, December 29 at 9 p.m. on PBS. Check local listings to confirm when it will air in your area. Find more information about the upcoming documentary at pbs.org. You can also tune into all nine seasons of Little House on the Prairie on Amazon Prime now. For a historical glimpse at the structure that was Wilder’s home, read this to learn about the original Little House cabin in Kansas.

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What's your favorite Little House book? Will you tune into this new documentary to learn about Laura Ingalls Wilder's life?