Big Conference On The Prairie For Wilder

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Her annotated autobiography has sold more than 150,000 copies, something that has taken her fan base by surprise. Drawing in fans from around the world, the third Laurapalooza is being held in Brookings through Friday.

Her stories have a global impact.

“When I was 11 years old, I got interested in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books but I was very young and I couldn’t read english at all,” says translator and professor in Tokyo, Japan, Yumiko Taniguchi. “So I read the translation.”

And after translating the books to audiences in Japan, Yumiko Taniguchi is one of the keynote speakers at Laurapalooza 2015.

“I will start from 1949 when The Long Winter, the 6th book of the Little House books was translated first in Japan,” she says.

South Dakota State University alum John Miller and Pioneer Girl editor Pamela Smith are among those who will be putting a fresh spin on Laura.

“I asked Bill Anderson, who’s the guru of Laura Ingalls Wilder studies and said “Have you ever heard her spoken about as a Midwesterner?” he said, “I can’t think of it.””, says author John Miller. “So I think I have something new here.”

“Later on there will be presentations about gender, and race and all kinds of issues so Wilder’s work is very deep, it’s very broad,” says editor of Pioneer Girl: An Annotated Autobiography Pamela Smith Hill.

While the conference may be more fun for adults, kids who grew up reading the Little House on the Prairie books are also enjoying talking about Wilder’s life.

“I just like when we read about the candy that they made and then we made it,” said Helen Maag, who grew up reading Little House On The Prairie.

On Saturday, those attending the conference can take a tour to De Smet to see where Laura Ingalls Wilder spent her childhood.