Confessions of a Prairie Bitch
There’s only one person who can tell you what it was like to be Nellie Oleson, the most hated girl on television.
I usually leave the book reviews to Jeff, but I just finished Alison Arngrim’s autobiography Confessions of a Prairie Bitch and I loved it! Seriously, go get yourself a copy and read it right away, you’ll thank me.
Here’s the jacket copy:
In Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, Arngrim describes growing up in Hollywood with her eccentric parents: Thor Arngrim, a talent manager to Liberace and others, whose appetite for publicity was insatiable, and legendary voice actress Norma MacMillan, who played both Gumby and Casper the Friendly Ghost. She recalls her most cherished and often wickedly funny moments behind the scenes of Little House: Michael Landon’s “unsaintly” habit of not wearing underwear; how she and Melissa Gilbert (who played her TV nemesis, Laura Ingalls) became best friends and accidentally got drunk on rum cakes at 7-Eleven; and the only time she and Katherine MacGregor (who played Nellie’s mom) appeared in public in costume, provoking a posse of elementary schoolgirls to attack them.
How could you possibly not want to read that!?! Even if you’ve never seen an episode of Little House on the Prairie (what rock have you been under?) Angrim’s no-nonsense straight forward tome is jam packed with terrific stories. She covers all the highs and lows of her personal and professional life with a self-depricating wit that will have you laughing out loud (just ask Jeff, I giggled and snorted my way through half the book). The chapters devoted to the passings of Michael Landon and her TV husband Steve Tracy are particularly poignant. She manages to pay tribute to them without being exploitative, syrupy or maudlin.
Alison is so funny and self-aware (how many child stars can you say that about?) that after I finished reading, I felt like I knew who the real Alison Arngrim was. Who’d have imagined that the biggest bitch on the prairie was so completely awesome?