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By Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, August 17, 2012
[....] [Laura Ingalls] Wilder’s books were written in collaboration with her only child, Rose Wilder Lane, a best-selling author in her own right. The extent of that collaboration is disputed—some critics have called Rose Laura’s “ghostwriter.” The evidence suggests that, at the least, Lane edited and shaped the manuscripts considerably, and thought of her mother as an amateur [....]
In the late nineteen-twenties, however, crippled by depression, Lane returned to her parents’ farm in Missouri. She was tortured by bad teeth—the product of childhood malnutrition; she lost her savings in the Depression; the state of the world increasingly embittered her. And the left-wing idealism of her youth took a hard turn to the right. When Roosevelt was elected, she noted in her diary, “America has a dictator.” She prayed for his assassination, and considered doing the job herself [....]