Two heroines of Iowa literature will be honored in a series of presentations across the state next week — one of the women is real, the other is a work of fiction. Ladora native Mildred Augustine wrote 25 of the first 30 Nancy Drew mysteries starting in 1930. University of Northern Iowa English professor Barbara Lounsberry says the books are still big sellers.While it’s never been put in print, Lounsberry says the fictional Nancy Drew lives in Iowa and she’s easily the world’s most famous female detective. Lounsberry is one of two speakers who will embark on a tour of eight Iowa cities next week to deliver the presentation: “Iowa’s Nancy Drew: In Literature, History and Art.” There are now about 180 Nancy Drew books with half-dozen new ones coming out every year. University of Hawaii art professor Laura Ruby will accompany Lounsberry on the Iowa tour, showing slides of her Nancy Drew-related artwork. Lounsberry says they’re wonderful pictures.The presentations are slated for: March 25th in Cedar Falls, March 26th in Ames, March 27th in Forest City, March 28th in Sioux City, March 29th in Fort Dodge and Storm Lake, March 31st in Burlington and Muscatine. Author Augustine is still around. At 96, she lives in Ohio and writes a newspaper column. In 1926, she became the first woman to get a B-A in journalism from the University of Iowa, and the next year, became the first person ever to get a Masters there for journalism.
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