chapter  6
I Am Your Laura: 1943 and Forward
Pages 10

In 1953, Wilder was interviewed for a radio broadcast by Wright County librarian and personal friend Docia Holland. It is the only known recording of her voice. In the crackling broadcast, Wilder sends her thanks and greetings to a group of children and librarians in California who have given her a set of Ingalls family figurines for her eighty-sixth birthday. Wilder’s voice has acquired a hint of a drawl over the course of sixty years in the Ozarks, although she retains her formal diction and the long-obsolete pioneer pronunciation of the word Iowa, which she enunciates as “I-oh-way.” She praises the craftsmanship of the figures and then signs off. “I am,” she says, “your Laura.” There is the slightest hesitation in her voice before she adds, “of the Little House books.” 1

And so she remains. Whatever Wilder’s private thoughts about the conflation of her own identity with that of her doppelganger, she could not have anticipated the fiery debate and unanswered questions generated by her work: “Which Laura?” “Whose history?” “What frontier?”