Creative Non-Ficion / Memoir / Travel
Date Published: Paperback out this March / eBook November 2014
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
Nancy McCabe, who grew up in Kansas just a few hours from the Ingalls family’s home in Little House on the Prairie, always felt a deep connection with Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House series. McCabe read Little House on the Prairie during her childhood and visited Wilder sites around the Midwest with her aunt when she was thirteen. But then she didn’t read the series again until she decided to revisit in adulthood the books that had so influenced her childhood. It was this decision that ultimately sparked her desire to visit the places that inspired many of her childhood favorites, taking her on a journey that included stops in the Missouri of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Minnesota of Maud Hart Lovelace, the Massachusetts of Louisa May Alcott, and even the Canada of Lucy Maud Montgomery.
From Little Houses to Little Women reveals McCabe’s powerful connection to the characters and authors who inspired many generations of readers. Traveling with McCabe as she rediscovers the books that shaped her and ultimately helped her to forge her own path, readers will enjoy revisiting their own childhood favorites as well.
From the Prologue:
When I started rereading children’s books, when I re-entered the lives in particular of favorite heroines, I found myself yearning to travel to the settings of those books. It was as if the tourist sites that had sprung up might be living manifestations of stories that I once loved, of stories that had once themselves seemed like physical locations, places to which I could escape. They were, for me, as real as real life. As with my original impulse to reread books, maybe my initial motivation for embarking on these travels had something to do with nostalgia. Maybe I was seeking to make literal the metaphorical experience of being lost in stories, of meeting again characters who had seemed three-dimensional, flesh and blood, like old, good friends, like a part of me.
Nancy McCabe is the author of four memoirs about travel, books, parenting, and adoption as well as the novel Following Disasters. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Prairie Schooner, Fourth Genre, and many other magazines and anthologies, including In Fact Books’ Oh Baby! True Stories about Conception, Adoption, Surrogacy, Pregnancy, Labor, and Love and McPherson and Company’s Every Father’s Daughter: Twenty-Four Women Writers Remember their Fathers. Her work has received a Pushcart and been recognized on Notable lists in Best American anthologies six times.