From the Publisher
“a rip-roaring good yarn. If the term ‘page turner’ has any complimentary meaning, it applies here...[Grace] Metalious has lasted as a force in American life.”Washington Times
“Ten years ago, Ardis Cameron, a professor at the University of Southern Maine, was astonished to discover the title was out of print, and mounted a one-woman campaign to resurrect it. She eventually persuaded Northeastern University Press to reissue the novel, and wrote a Camille Paglia-worthy introduction that casts Grace as a literary Joan of Arc, sword drawn, swinging at the oppressive social conventions of the 50s. The book, says Cameron, "spoke about things that were not discussed in polite society, and allowed people to talk about all sorts of issues -- but particularly their own sense of being different in the 1950s.”Vanity Fair
"The most pointful thing about rereading this book is the fact that what was clear and present and shocking in those benighted dayshasn't gone away. Sure, the questions are being dealt with instead of shoved under a rugbut they're still around. And debated." Courier-Gazette (ME)
“Metalious is well on her way to academic respectability, too. Ardis Cameron, an English professor at the University of Southern Maine, helped get Peyton Place back between soft covers a few years ago with an introduction describing it as "America's first blockbuster" and a key to understanding both the stifling cultural conformity of the 1950s and the first stirrings of rebellion against it.”The Independent
Put attractvenubile young people in close quartersand every sort of titillating perversity can ensurwhatever the decade. Entertainment Weekly
Metalious's 1956 novel spawned both a hit feature film and a popular TV series that certainly was the forerunner of all the prime-time soapers that have followed. The paperback reprint features an introduction by scholar Ardis Cameron. (For more on the shifting academic publishing scene, see Inside Track, LJ 4/15/99, p. 74.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Put attractve, nubile young people in close quarters, and every sort of titillating perversity can ensur, whatever the decade.
The late Sinclair Lewis would no doubt have hailed Grace Metalious as a sister-in-arms against the false fronts and bourgeois pretentions of allegedly repectable communities, and certified her a public accountant of what goes on in the basements, bedrooms and back porches of a " typical american town. "-- Books of the Century; New York Times
Here's an unexpected publication: a new edition, complete with scholarly introduction, of the 1956 succès de scandale that was in its time the single bestselling American novel, inspiring both a nighttime "television novel" (i.e., soap opera) and an only slightly less soapy (1958) feature film. Metalious (1924–64) was a competent writer with some flair whose punchy workmanlike prose efficiently captured her little inland New England hamlet's earthy (if somewhat unbelievably sexually functional) populace. The charactersamong others, Allison MacKenzie, round-heeled Betty Anderson, m.c.p. Rodney Harrington, and longsuffering Selena Crossretain a perversely appealing, pulpy vitality. But scholar Ardis Cameron's assertion that this likeably trashy novel offers "a valuable corrective to the myth of quiescent domesticity and class consensus," besides gilding the lily indefensibly, confuses its author with Sinclair Lewis, not to mention Gustave Flaubert. Peyton Place is, on its own terms, both a perfectly decent popular novel and an honest one. But it never was an important one, and no amount of retroactive puffery can make it so. .