FOUND IT! (Which is to say: Daly’s archive didn’t lie about the early gendering of her fan letters):
“Daly recalls that in the first few years following publication, ‘All the mail was from boys, perhaps because of the attractive girl on the cover. Later, the girls started writing, too.'”
Thank you, now-obscure author interview from 1986!
To be clear, the archive suggests that girls *were* writing from the beginning, but I suspect that Daly remembered this version because the girls continued to write to her, whereas the boys stopped.
Source: Daly, Maureen, and Kimberly Olson Fakih. “The Long Wait for Maureen Daly.” Publishers Weekly 229.26 (June 27, 1986): 36-39.
In a wee follow-up to yesterday’s post, I give you: statements that no one else will care about, but which are making me SQUEE in archival bliss:
“My dear Miss Daly, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity of meeting you last Friday at the Nathan Straus Library.”
Thanks, Mary Kay Olwell, St. Saviour High School, Class of ’46!
Letter source: Maureen Daly Papers, Box 1, Folder “Fan Letters 5,” University of Oregon Special Collections.
It’s MLK Day here in the US, so I thought I’d take a break from posting archival documents about female junior novels to highlight a very different archival document. This particular one is from the Inez Jessie Baskin Papers of the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
The people over at http://www.Slate.com have provided a helpful backstory (click the photo for a clickthrough link).
“Be loving enough to absorb evil and understanding enough to turn an enemy into a friend.”