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.
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.
Just in time for the holidays, it’s the Monitor’s selections for the top books of December 2020 all wrapped up and tied with a bow.
Sometimes You Have to Lie by Leslie Brody: In this lively, compassionate biography of Louise Fitzhugh, author of the children’s instant-classic “Harriet the Spy” series from the 1960s, Leslie Brody sheds light on the remarkable woman behind the books.