'Sarah, Plain and Tall' author Patricia MacLachlan remains inspired by native Wyoming
Patricia MacLachlan was about 5 years old when she gathered dirt from the prairie into a small plastic bag before her family moved from Cheyenne. The Wyoming native and author of many award-winning books keeps that bag of dirt on her desk where she writes.
“Wherever I go, I’ll have this,” she remembers thinking. Her family loved to drive through the prairie, and she’d asked her father to stop so she could pick up some dirt.
“Somehow I knew then that it was important in some way,” she said.
Wyoming has inspired many of her numerous books loved by generations of children, including the Newbery Medal-winning “Sarah, Plain and Tall.” “Prairie Days,” set for release in May, is all about memories of her first home in Wyoming.
Wyoming has remained a major part of her life and work.
Her many awards include a National Humanities Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as the American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Book award, according to the NEH website. Her screenwriting credits include the “Sarah, Plain and Tall,” TV movie and sequels starring Glenn Close and Christopher Walken.