The Ida Grove Library will host special guest speaker, Barbara Lounsberry, for “Nancy Drew: Iowa’s Heroine to the World” on Thursday September 19th at 6:30pm in the Heritage Room of the Ida Grove Library.
Nancy Drew is the most popular female detective in fiction. Today she even outsells Miss Marple, Agatha Christie’s venerable heroine. More than 200 million copies of Nancy Drew mysteries have been sold, and she has been translated into 17 different languages. Few know, however, that Nancy is an Iowa heroine and that her creator was Mildred Augustine of Ladora, Iowa. Augustine’s authorship of the first Nancy Drew mysteries—and single-handed creation of Nancy’s admirable character—were kept secret for more than 50 years. Equally distressing is the fact that as Nancy grew in popularity, her Iowa roots were disguised.
Nancy Drew and her creator are extraordinary role models for Iowa girls and boys, women and men. Augustine was herself an intrepid Nancy Drew-like figure. An academic pioneer (the first woman to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa’s School of Journalism), Augustine earned 6 airplane pilots licenses, including one for sea planing; wrote 130 books for young people; and continued her newspaper column “On the Go” through her 96th and last year of life. The presentation “Nancy Drew: Iowa’s Heroine to the World” is designed to fortify Iowans young and old.
Guest speaker, Barbara Lounsberry, was born and raised in Iowa and retired recently as a Professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. She has written books on literature and writing, and had the fun of editing three mystery novels set in Iowa, with each chapter written by a different Iowa author. Lounsberry’s latest books are a trilogy on Virginia Woolf and diaries. Lounsberry was named UNI’s Distinguished Scholar in 1994 and Outstanding Teacher in 1998. Lounsberry is the president of the Ruth Suckow Memorial Association and believes Iowa culture, like its soil, is incredibly rich.
We hope you will mark your calendars and join us for this program!