Nancy Drew is a fictional character in a juvenile fiction mystery fiction series created by publisher Edward Stratemeyer. The character first appeared in 1930; the books have been ghostwritten by a number of authors and are published under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene. Over the decades the character has evolved in response to changes in US culture and tastes. The books were extensively revised, beginning in 1959, largely to eliminate racist stereotypes, with arguable success. Many scholars agree that in the revision process, the heroine's original character was changed to a less assertive and more feminine character. In the 1980s an older and more professional Nancy emerged in a new series, The Nancy Drew Files, that included romantic plots for the sleuth. In 2004 the original Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series, begun in 1930, was ended and a new series, Girl Detective, was launched, in which the title character drives a hybrid electric vehicle and uses a cell phone. Illustrations of the character have also evolved over time to reflect the Nancy Drew type in contemporary terms. The character has proved continuously popular worldwide: at least 80 million copies of the books have been sold, and the books have been translated into over 45 languages. Nancy Drew has featured in five films, two television shows, and a number of popular computer games; she also appears in a variety of merchandise sold over the world.
A cultural icon, Nancy Drew has been cited as a formative influence by a number of women, from Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Sonia Sotomayor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former First Lady Laura Bush. Feminist literary critics have analyzed the character's enduring appeal, arguing variously that Nancy Drew is a mythic hero, an expression of wish fulfillment, or an embodiment of contradictory ideas about femininity.
Famous quotes related to nancy drew:
“...I believed passionately that Communists were a race of horned men who divided their time equally between the burning of Nancy Drew books and the devising of a plan of nuclear attack that would land the largest and most lethal bomb squarely upon the third-grade class of Thomas Jefferson School in Morristown, New Jersey.”
—Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950)