- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: It Books; Reprint edition (June 14, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780061962158
- ISBN-13: 978-0061962158
- ASIN: 0061962155
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 842 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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“Hilarious and heartbreaking.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
“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)
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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This is right up there with Mackenzie Phillips memoir. Absolutely fascinating, and I ADORE her affinity to the French, because I "get it". Her comments made me howl, about why the French love Nellie Olsen. She's mean, but she has a reason, and thus they understand. I myself have a quote about my own mother that "she wasn't mean, she was French". And all my friends who are Adult Children of French Mothers understand without having to explain.
Her family are... something else. Dad is gay and is not hiding it from his family. Mom is nearly all the voices in 60s cartoons, including Miss Polly Purebred, oh, swoon! Be warned, there's a lot of childhood abuse by her older brother that will be very hard for some to read about. Especially if you were a fan of "Land of the Giants", because her older brother was the child star of that show, physically violent, and a rapist. As an adule, all the women he's been married to bear a creepy resemblance to Alison.
But hey, Alison Arngrim survived. The book is a triumph. It's well written, hilarious, fun to read. Now I wish her one woman show would make it to Austin Texas. Hell I'd trek to Houston if I had to/
First, everything a Little House fan wants to know about Alison, other cast members (and of course Michael) and what really took place behind the scenes is all there, the good, the bad and the hysterically funny — she’s a hoot! I’m not kidding! I have to read it again to mark some parts I want to read to friends.
Next, and I don’t know if she intended this, but she’s totally inspiring. Her early years are nothing short of tragic, heartbreaking really. But she seems to have handled it all with wisdom, or maybe it’s her sense of humor that brought her through it. Either way, she’s definitely admirable, someone I’d actually want to hang out with.
I adore this book, and I adore Alison, and I’ll forgive her one transgression—calling Mary Poppins annoying!! Although most bitchy women would agree. :)