Surviving "Little House": Adaptations of Wilder's Transnational Prairie
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Contemporary scholarship suggests that Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” series of children’s novels have contributed to the rise of nationalist and libertarian ideology in the United States. However, examining adaptations of Wilder’s work by contemporary Asian immigrant and Native American writers, including Bich Minh Nguyen, Hiromi Goto, and Louise Erdrich, as well as Zarqa Nawaz’s TV series Little Mosque on the Prairie and the online magazine Little Laos on the Prairie , reveals that contemporary cultural producers use “Little House” to tell stories that complicate this ideology. Asian immigrant and Native American writers adapt “Little House” to tell stories about immigration and (forced) relocation. By adapting “Little House,” these writers legitimize and amplify the voices of immigrant and/or indigenous people. They also re-define US national identity as transmigratory, ethnically hybrid, and predicated on shared vulnerability.