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Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated Paperback – June 14, 2011
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“Arngrim, decades past her ‘Little House On The Prairie’ years, dishes lots of great on-set stories, talks about what being a kid actor in the 1970s was actually like and discusses her own painful family history with frankness and humor....Delightful.” (NPR.org)
“Spunky Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie [Oleson], gets my kudos...Alison has a knack for yanking people’s chains in a good way. And her new bestselling memoir, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, is such an absorbing read, I just had to give the woman a call for some bitch talk.” (Michael Musto, Village Voice)
“’Confessions of a Prairie Bitch’ says it all: Neither Arngrim nor Nellie could ever be called boring.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“Courage, moxie, chutzpah , cajones. Alison Arngrim has them all in spades. In “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch,” she bares her soul and manages to share her story with grace, dignity, and her inimitable humor. Simply put, I love this book and I love her. ” (Melissa Gilbert)
“Alison Arngrim, familiar to a generation of TV viewers as the petulant Nellie Oleson of ‘Little House On The Prairie,’ is dishing the dirt on Walnut Grove.” (AOL PopEater)
“Arngrim displays a healthy sense of humor.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
Arngrim looks back on playing the pint-sized sociopath in her memoir, “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch,” in which she merrily recalls show creator and star Michael Landon, that infamous blond wig, and how Nellie inspired her lifelong obsession with villainy.” (New York Post)
“Alison Arngrim is a talented actress and an author who has patched together a meaningful life and created a book whose pages…fly.” (Phyllis Diller)
“As a city bitch myself, I loved this book! It’s nice to see how the other half lives. Alison Arngrim’s memoir is a hilarious, moving, and dishy Hollywood tale.” (Margaret Cho)
“Alison Arngrim is a fine actress and a true comedienne. She has always been the kind of ‘Bitch’ who tells it like it is. So, readers beware, you are in for an eye-full of reality told with a remarkable sense of humor.” (Carol Channing)
“Whoa, Nellie! “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch” is a book that you will keep stored under a haystack in the barn, to dip into whenever you need a shot of something that will keep you down on the farm.” (Bruce Vilanch)
From the Back Cover
For seven years, Alison Arngrim played a wretched, scheming, selfish, lying, manipulative brat on one of TV history's most beloved series. Though millions of Little House on the Prairie viewers hated Nellie Oleson and her evil antics, Arngrim grew to love her character—and the freedom and confidence Nellie inspired in her.
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.
Arngrim relays all this and more with biting wit, but she also bravely recounts her life's challenges: her struggle to survive a history of traumatic abuse, depression, and paralyzing shyness; the "secret" her father kept from her for twenty years; and the devastating loss of her "Little House husband" and best friend, Steve Tracy, to AIDS, which inspired her second career in social and political activism. Arngrim describes how Nellie Oleson taught her to be bold, daring, and determined, and how she is eternally grateful to have had the biggest little bitch on the prairie to show her the way.
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Top Customer Reviews
First came Gilbert's 'Prairie Tale.' I liked the book, but the author failed to realize that her readers are, for the most part, completely removed from her reality. She relates to the reader as a 'peer,' failing to realize that they will mostly have little clue as to what it is like to be in her shoes (i.e. not everyone can run up to Montreal to find out what their boyfriends are up to). Many readers will also like to know what was it like 'being' in the Little House ambience. Gilbert goes through her Little House years rather fast, so if you blink, you may miss it. This is understandable, because she grew up there, so it became, for her, daily routine, but her audience may be wanting a bit more since this was not their routine, and may be hungry to know more. And it seemed that her book was more a therapeutic catharsis rather than sharing one on one with her readers. Again, understandably so, and the approach she chose, so I took it as that and went with it.Read more ›
Alison's memoir is a doozy. First, you get an inside glimpse into the making of the show, starting with a blow-by-blow account of how she got the role that would define her as an actress, the incomparable Nellie Oleson. One of the most surprisingly delightful recounts are the hours she spent in the hair and makeup rooms donning that truly hideous Nellie wig. Her insights into her costars are witty, slightly sarcastic, and eye-opening. Her friendship with Melissa Gilbert really make the chapters fun and she reserves some venom for Melissa Sue Anderson, who played Mary. There is plenty of dish on the people in the show, all in good fun and none of it comes across as nasty.
Another wonderfully touching part of her book is her recounting of her on screen husband, actor Steve Tracy, who was gay in real life.Read more ›
Since I read "Prairie Tale" Amazon suggested that I may want to preorder Confessions of a Prairie Bitch... and I did, immediately. It sounded like a much more enjoyable read than the former book. While I liked Prairie Tale okay I didn't relate much to Melissa at all. I didn't grow up rich. I didn't have a seemingly great family. I didn't drink until I was 21. I never rebelled. So while her story was interesting to me, I couldn't really relate. It was also told in more of a dramatic sad fashion, than in the dark-humor fashion that I greatly prefer and understand.
I got Confessions the day it was release and it killed me to have to finish my book I was reading before I could delve into it (I'm anal like that). I kept looking at the cover just KNOWING a great story lied beneath it's pink pop art cover. While you can't always judge a book by its cover, this one is exactly what its cover depicts - sassy, spunky, edgy and hilarious.
While I didn't have a gay father, I had a similar abusive relationship with my older brother so from the early stages of this book I felt like Alison was a kindred spirit. It's rare to meet someone that has and appreciates dark humor and isn't weirded out by it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was fantastic!! I couldn't put it down. Growing up watching Little House, I wanted to read this to get a look behind the scenes but this had a lot more and the "a lot... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Kimberly M.
I really enjoyed this book and getting a look into Alison's life and Prairie life. Obviously a few things were slightly disappointing when you read anything about the beloved... Read morePublished 5 days ago by J.Ho
This book is funny and enlightening. What a great read. I have always loved Little House on the Prairie so the insight given by the actress who played Nellie was a delight to read. Read morePublished 11 days ago by JenS
Alison had a very eventful life. Hardships galore since birth basically. She is a survivor! Hard to believe she was so shy when she started playing Nellie Olsen. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Dawn E. Tripp
Loved this book. I read this book based on reviews of Melissa Sue Anderson's terrible biography. Allison poured her heart and soul into this book. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Ezra711
Loved loved loved this book. My 27 year old daughter gave this to me as a gift it was one her favorite recent reads. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Holly C.
I grew up on LHOTP, so it was interesting so find out the backstory, friendships, real personalities of the players/actors. Healthy ending for Alison, bless her.Published 1 month ago by marla
A book that was written from the heart. It honestly gave a detailed account of Angrim's professional and personal life. Read morePublished 1 month ago by David Inbody