Nancy Drew and the Secret Notebook

I’m writing a paper this semester about the new Nancy Drew novels and domestic containment narratives in the War on Terror. On one hand, I’m really excited, but on the other hand I’m kind of ambivalent about the whole thing because there’s already a ton published about Nancy Drew. (Nancy Drew and Her Sister Sleuths and Nancy Drew and Company are both pretty darn good.) Little has been written, however, about the new (2003-present) versions of Nancy, which I think are really dumbed-down versions of an at one point badass girl. What I’m particularly interested in is the way that the revisions sort of undid changes made previously to the series after the Cold War. For example, they are less violent and less focused on relationships. Instead Nancy is more girlie and her cases are a lot safer, for lack of a better word. I don’t think it’s coincidental that these changes were made shortly after the beginning of the War on Terror when narratives of security and re-assertions of national identity were developing and girlie-girl culture was on the rise. We need our girls safe, right? In the words of my prof, “Osama bin Laden didn’t know he was going to change Nancy Drew.” Love it.

I suppose it was just a matter of time before I ended up writing about the girl detective. I mean, I have Nancy Drew books incorporated into the decor in my living room. I’m also writing about Veronica Mars and The Killing this semester, so I have detective fiction on the brain. (Nancy works really well as a contrast to Veronica, btw.)

Anyway, I had a ton of meetings this week about papers and my course of study and I was using the notebook pictured above. It was a gift to myself during my Master’s exam last spring. I love it.

I also, however, kept the cover to myself because it kind of makes me feel like this:

Shhhh…don’t tell. That’ll help with the ole’ Imposter Syndrome, right?

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2 thoughts on “Nancy Drew and the Secret Notebook

  1. I love the Nancy Drew books…the originals. I didn’t even know they’d started giving her stories a makeover. Your paper sounds so interesting and I hope you’ll keep us updated on how it’s going! I’d love to hear more! Seriously, great topic! Also, great notebook. And as always, thank you for another amazing post!

    • Thanks! The newer series are geared for younger readers ~6-8 for Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew and ~8-12 for Nancy Drew Girl Detective and Super Mysteries, which is part of why they are so disappointing. The 2007 movie was doing a similar nostalgic revisiting of the series in which Nancy is the All-American good girl, but man did I love it.
      I think I have my work cut out for me on this one.

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