Instead of hosting a book club meeting during SXSW — I am thinking about hosting a Feminist Kitchen tweet-up, though. Interested? @me or leave a comment– we’ll meet at 7 p.m. April 10 at Thrice to talk about Laura Ingalls Wilder.
For many of us, Laura Ingalls Wilder represents something within us that’s hard to explain in words and sometimes doesn’t even make logical sense when we try to figure out why that little girl who grew up in the big woods and expansive prairies, in the back of a roaming wagon and a creekside dug-out means so much to us.
Wendy McClure, whose previous book, “I’m Not The New Me” was about weight loss culture, felt this way, too, and she embarked on an adventure into the hows and whys of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author, the fictionalized character that Laura and her daughter, Rose, created and the unique fandom that continues to this day.
“The Wilder Life” is funny and fascinating (well, to Little House geeks like me). It’s not a food book, per se, but McClure has plenty to say about just about every detail in the book, which includes plenty of references to cooking, eating and the pioneering/homesteading spirit that is still very present in today’s food culture. (Hello, Pioneer Woman!)
Through McClure’s book, I’ve learned about a few other feminist takes on our favorite childhood author. One book I’m hoping to pick up between now and the book club is “Constructing the Little House: Gender, Culture, and Laura Ingalls Wilder” by Ann Romines. (What a small world: I got to hear Romines speak about her work on the Willa Cather community cookbook at the cookbook conference in New York that I attended last month.)
I hope you’ll join us at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 10 at Thrice, 909 W. Mary. Here’s the book club’s Facebook page if you want to RSVP.