Nancy Drew: The Snowman Surprise
While walking around one afternoon, I found this book, "The Nancy Drew Notebooks: The Snowman Surprise," in a Little Lending Library in Berkeley, California. Ever the faithful Nancy Drew fan, I took it home.
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From the beginning, Nancy Drew was sustained by a series of ghost-writers. The character herself belongs to the Edward Stratemeyer Syndicate, the same company that produced "The Hardy Boys."
Nancy Drew's history is based on erasure and censorship. The Nancy we know (and love, and sometimes loathe) is not static; rather, she's a phantasm for whatever brand of femininity and womanhood is deemed culturally relevant at the time. In the 20s, Nancy was brash, crude, insubordinate to male authority. By the 50s, she had become softer, more polite. Smaller. Today, she uses a cell phone.
Although a revered icon of American culture, Nancy belongs to no one. She is a projection, a fantasy. In the historical context of erasure, censorship, and myth-making, to re-imagine Nancy feels appropriate, perhaps even necessary.
In my erasure of "The Snowman Surprise," Nancy is a young woman struggling to understand her own queerness. Why not? Once you start to read between the lines, everything unfurls.