Harriet the Spy

Reading Harriet the Spy when I was a kid rocked my world. 

I loved the idea of a girl just like me* sneaking around, spying on the neighbors, and writing observations in her little notebook. 

Hell, I had a little notebook, and I sometimes pretended to be Harriet (when I wasn’t pretending to be an investigative journalist; later in life I realized I came by my love of All the President’s Men honestly).

So I had a blast from the past combined with a strong dash of right-now when I ran across this article, which suggests that Harriet the Spy anticipated our current age of surveillance and TMI and the general end of privacy. 

Pretty darn fascinating. 

Plus, it made me nostalgic for that summer when I first read Harriet and vowed that Louise Fitzhugh was a genius. Until I read The Long Secret and discovered that even great writers sometimes go off the rails.

*except she lived in New York, and I lived in a small town where everyone knew there was absolutely no privacy because everyone knew everything about everyone else

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