In 1935, Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, was at a crossroads in her life. Financially, she had weathered the low points of the Great Depression but still found herself on unstable ground after orchestrating the construction of a new building called the Rock House on her family's Mansfield property. Personally, the relationship between Rose and her mother had grown especially strained. In this More Missouri Moments mini-episode of the Our Missouri Podcast, Caroline Fraser, our guest from "Episode 2: Prairie Fires," takes us to the summer of 1935 when Rose Wilder Lane moved into the Tiger Hotel in Columbia and began work on what would become an unsuccessful book project about Missouri history.
Caroline Fraser holds a PhD in English and American Literature from Harvard University. She is the author of God's Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church and Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution. Additionally, she served as editor of the Library of America edition of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books. Her work has also appeared in the New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and Outside Magazine, among others. Her most recent book, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography, Plutarch Award, and the Pulitzer Prize in Biography.