So many books, so little time. Considering all the books I've yet to read, it's not often I indulge in comfort reading of my childhood favorites. I may just have to make an exception this time, as I've been wanting to revisit the Little House series for months, and finding encouragement in various places.
First there was an article by Judith Thurman in the New Yorker last year, "Wilder Woman", about Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter Rose, a writer herself, who influenced the series while typing up manuscript pages. Thurman states Rose "reshaped and heightened the dramatic structure... rewrote the prose so drastically that Laura sometimes felt usurped." However there's no denying the expertise Laura provided on such matters as how to mold bullets, dig a well, press cheese, make a rag doll, smoke a ham and so on.
And last Sunday in the New York Times magazine was an article titled, "Little House in the Hood" by Pete Wells. I always look forward to reading this particular column, "Cooking with Dexter", about a father's exploits in the kitchen with his five year old. He begins perplexed that his wife is reading aloud the assumedly girly, therefore boring, Little House books to Dexter, but soon realizes the appeal: the book begins with Pa Ingalls killing a pig, and otherwise describes in fascinating minutiae daily pioneer life. He draws a parallel to the series and its inspired Little House Cookbook to the local DIY food movement in Brooklyn.
In fact, the foodie book club at the Brooklyn Kitchen will be discussing Little House in the Big Woods later this month. Perhaps now is the perfect time for a rereading!