'Little House,' Big Demand: Never Underestimate Laura Ingalls Wilder

Posted by NPR on
Laura Ingalls Wilder's farmhouse in Mansfield, MO.
Mark Schiefelbein/AP

In 2014, the South Dakota State Historical Society published the annotated autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House books. Her memoir, titled Pioneer Girl, sold like hotcakes. The initial print run of 15,000 was snapped up in just a few weeks. So was an additional run of 15,000 more copies. Now, the historical society is waiting on a third run of 45,000 books — enough to fill current demand and have some leftovers.

laura.jpgLaura Ingalls (right), with her sisters Carrie (left) and Mary Ingalls.Wilder Historic Home & Museum

"Every time we guess ... the number just gets bigger for us. It's been pretty exciting," says Nancy Tystad Koupal, director of the South Dakota State Historical Society Press. She tells NPR's Melissa Block that the press seriously underestimated the demand.

"Everybody who's ever read a Little House book or everybody who's ever seen the TV show Little House on the Prairie really has been fascinated by Laura Ingalls Wilder and her life," she says. "And this book offers an opportunity to get behind the scenes and see what that life was really like."

You can get the full story, including an audio interview with Nancy Tystad Koupal, director of the South Dakota State Historical Society Press, from NPR. 

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