Bob Harris & Matt Flannery
Tue., June 4
Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated (Hardcover)
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.
About the Author
Alison Arngrim starred as Nellie Oleson for seven years on the TV series Little House on the Prairie. She also guest-starred on The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and the NBC movie of the week I Married Wyatt Earp. She has appeared in numerous films and plays, and her stand up comedy show, "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch," has become a worldwide phenomenon. Arngrim also volunteers for nonprofit organizations such as AIDS Project Los Angeles and the National Association to Protect Children. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.
Praise for Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated…
“Hilarious and heartbreaking.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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. ”
“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.”
“Arngrim displays a healthy sense of humor.”
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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”