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Santa Monica Review Benefit Reading

I’ll be giving the Welcome Remarks for the Santa Monica Review launch and reading for the Spring 2021 issue. Sunday, April 18th, 5-6:30 pm Emcee will be Andrew Tonkovitch.

T.S. McAdams

Lyndsey Ellis

Jenny Shank

Leland Cheuk

Laura Glen Louis

https://www.smc.edu/sm-review/index.html

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UPCOMING EVENTS

2 Conversations with Ann McCutchan, author of  the new book (April, 2021, Norton)The Life She Wishes to Live, a Biography of Majorie Kinnan Rawlings, Author of The Yearling.

MAY 10 McNally Jackson, Moderator TBA 

MAY 13- Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research is interested in hosting us, 5:30 PM MST, 4:30 Pacific, in an installment of their “Think and Drink” Zoom conversations. Alyson Hagy, moderator. 

MAY 22- Zoom Conversation with Louise Fitzhugh Book Group

JULY 14-17 SYHTL has been nominated for an AGATHA in nonfiction. The AGATHAS will be awarded at the Malice and More convention. Lists of finalists can be found here

https://www.malicedomestic.org/agatha-awards.html

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MS MAGAZINE

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LA REVIEW OF BOOKS

Interview: I Spy Louise Fitzhugh: A Conversation with Leslie Brody

KELLY BLEWETT: Why did you want to write about Louise Fitzhugh?

LESLIE BRODY: I am exactly the same age as Harriet the Spy — that is to say, in 1963, when Harriet was 11 years old, so was I. I was born in the Bronx, and although Harriet lived in an elite quarter of Manhattan, we still shared lots of the same cultural references around New York City in the ’50s and ’60s. When the book was published in 1964, I really wasn’t reading kids’ books anymore and missed the wave. I wouldn’t even hear about Harriet and Louise until I was working as a playwright in Minneapolis 20 years later, when I was hired to write an adaptation of Harriet the Spy for the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre company. I remember reading it through several times, stunned at how lucky I was — after all this time, and the many ways our rendezvous might have gone awry — to find her.

Read the full interview HERE.

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BOING BOING

Review: The Extraordinary Queer Life of Harriet the Spy Author Louise Fitzhugh

Harriet the Spy was a YA fiction inspiration who possessed all of the ethics of a TMZ reporter. A young Upper East Side miscreant, Harriet’s curiosity and ambition leads her to spy on her friends, family and neighbors, recording copious notes about their activities in her ever-present notebooks. In this way, Harriet is something of an antihero. She’s also an early example of realism in children’s literature.

In her biography, Sometimes You Have To LieHarriet the Spy author Louise Fitzhugh’s life proves to be just as enthralling as her legendary protagonist. 

Read the full review HERE.

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LGBTQ NATION

Review: Was “Harriet the Spy” a Queer Hero?

A new biography, Sometimes You Have To Lie by Leslie Brody delves into Fitzhugh’s personal life, including her sexuality.

In a review of the bookthe New Republic discusses how the title represents one of the most controversial moments in Harriet’s story – when her nanny, Ole Golly, tells her that sometimes it’s okay to lie. This advice comes after Harriet’s notebook is found, and she struggles to apologize to those whose feelings she has hurt, since she isn’t actually sorry.

The biography’s author speculates that his empathy for lying is likely a nod to Fitzhugh’s need to lie about her own sexuality to protect herself.

Read the full review HERE.

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A MIGHTY GIRL

Book Roundup: A Mighty Girl’s 2020 Books of the Year

“Sometimes you have to lie” is one of the most stunning lines in Louise Fitzhugh’s book Harriet the Spy — but it also speaks to Fitzhugh’s own life. After a childhood in segregated Memphis, she traveled to New York and was thrilled by the diversity and potential there: lesbian bars in Greenwich Village, the postwar art scene, and avant-garde writers including Maurice Sendak and Lorraine Hansberry. Her writing for children defied everything children’s literature “should” be, resisting conformity and authority, even as she felt pressures to conceal her own life and nature. This extraordinary biography is a compelling look at Fitzhugh, her creation Harriet, and the meaning of lies, truth, and individuality.

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THE DAY

Review: Biography of “Harriet the Spy” Author Pulls From Her Correspondence with Poet James Merrill of Stonington

The author’s name may not be familiar, but her most famous character is: “Harriet the Spy” has been worming her way into grade-schoolers’ hearts since her snooping adventures debuted in 1964.

In this new biography, Leslie Brody turns the tables on Harriet’s creator, Louise Fitzhugh, who never set out to be a children’s author. She refused to go on book tours and maintained a Salinger-like seclusion until her death in 1974.

Read the full review HERE.

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BOOKTRIB

Review: “Sometimes You Have to Lie” Tells the Story of the Woman Behind “Harriet the Spy”

Sometimes You Have to Lie (Seal Press) by Leslie Brody tells the fascinating and somewhat shocking story of the life and times of author Louise Fitzhugh. If the name rings a bell, it’s for a very good reason: Fitzhugh was the literary genius behind the 1964 middle-grade novel, Harriet the Spy, which has, over the course of nearly three generations, become one of the most beloved books written for kids.

With exclusive access to Fitzhugh’s papers and through interviews with those who knew her, Brody for the first time brings to life the woman behind this iconic novel. The biography uncovers Fitzhugh’s inspiration behind Harriet the Spy, as well as the her struggles as a lesbian woman and triumphs as one of the most influential authors of her time.

Read on to find out more about this fascinating book and see what Brody’s peers have to say about it, too!

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ZED — The Zoomer Book Club

The Big Read: The Secret Life of Harriet the Spy’s Creator

“Harriet M. Welsch has a fondness for egg creams, tomato sandwiches, and obsessively observing the actions of classmates and neighbours in a notebook, going so far as to hide in a dumbwaiter to eavesdrop. The 11-year-old protagonist of Harriet the Spy is curious to the point of nosy, unsentimental to the point of rude, and a refreshing, honestly realized character with a rich inner life. Her dominion never took her through the looking glass or past a phantom tollbooth, but rather confined her to an Upper East Side neighbourhood in Manhattan, where the daily lives of its inhabitants provided the budding writer with rich material.”…READ MORE