Books

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Peyton Place

When Grace Metalious's debut novel about the dark underside of a small, respectable New England town was published in 1956, it quickly soared to the top of the bestseller lists. A landmark in twentieth-century American popular culture, Peyton Place spawned a successful feature film and a long-running television series—the first prime-time soap opera.

 

Contemporary readers of Peyton Place will be captivated by its vivid characters, earthy prose, and shocking incidents. Through her riveting, uninhibited narrative, Metalious skillfully exposes the intricate social anatomy of a small community, examining the lives of its people—their passions and vices, their ambitions and defeats, their passivity or violence, their secret hopes and kindnesses, their cohesiveness and rigidity, their struggles, and often their courage.

 

This new paperback edition of Peyton Place features an insightful introduction by Ardis Cameron that thoroughly examines the novel's treatment of class, gender, race, ethnicity, and power, and considers the book's influential place in American and New England literary history.

Return to Peyton Place

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In 1956 Grace Metalious published Peyton Place, the novel that unbuttoned the straitlaced New England of the popular imagination, transformed the publishing industry, topped the bestseller lists for more than a year, and made its young author one of the most talked-about people in America. In 1959 the sizzling sequel, Return to Peyton Place, picked up where Peyton Place left off:

 

Allison MacKenzie, now the author of America’s #1 bestseller, is thrown into the glamorous whirl of the smart set of New York and Hollywood. At home, the rest of the most controversial characters in 1950s American fiction continue to create a stir in this ongoing exposé of sex, hypocrisy, social inequity, and class privilege in contemporary America.

 

Peyton Place, the small, seemingly respectable New England town, is revealed as a vividly realistic cauldron of secrets and scandal. Peyton Place and its sequel, Return to Peyton Place, the books that readers used to hide under their mattresses, are now recognized by scholars as the Silent Generation’s Perfect Storm and predecessors to the women’s liberation movement. Treat yourself to this rediscovered classic.