Balancing History and Story in Historical Fiction

Growing up in suburban Chicago, an hour from the Wisconsin border, I devoured The Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. These novels, which begin in Wisconsin in the late 1800s, were my introduction to historical fiction. Wilder’s simple yet insightful words gave me a vivid sense of what it was like to grow up in midwest America: “They were cosy and comfortable in their little house made of logs, with the snow drifted crying around it and the wind because it could not get in by the fire.”


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