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About the Author: Grace Metalious

Grace Metalious was an American author, best known for the controversial novel Peyton Place.

She was born into poverty and a broken home as Marie Grace de Repentigny in the mill town of Manchester, New Hampshire. Blessed with the gift of imagination, she was driven to write from an early age. After graduating from Manchester High School Central, she married George Metalious in 1943, became a housewife and mother, lived in near squalor — and continued to write.

With one child, the couple moved to Durham, New Hampshire, where George attended the University of New Hampshire. In Durham, Grace Metalious began writing seriously, neglecting her house and her three children. When George graduated, he took a position as principal at a school in Gilmanton, New Hampshire.

At the age of 30, she began work in the fall of 1954 on a manuscript with the working title The Tree and the Blossom. By the spring of 1955, she had finished a first draft. However, she and her husband regarded The Tree and the Blossom as an unwieldy title and decided to give the town a name which could be the book's title. They first considered Potter Place (the name of a real community near Andover, New Hampshire). Realizing their town should have a fictional name, they looked through an atlas and found Payton (the name of a real town in Texas). They combined this with Place and changed the "a" to an "e". Thus, Peyton Place was born.

Metalious — the "Pandora in bluejeans" — was said by some to be a dreadful writer and a purveyor of filth, but her most famous book changed the publishing industry forever. With regard to her success, she said, "If I'm a lousy writer, then an awful lot of people have lousy taste," and as to the frankness of her work, she stated, "Even Tom Sawyer had a girlfriend, and to talk about adults without talking about their sex drives is like talking about a window without glass."

Her other novels, all of which sold well but never achieved the same success as her first, were Return to Peyton Place (1959), The Tight White Collar (1961) and No Adam in Eden (1963).

Metalious died of alcoholism on February 25, 1964. "If I had to do it over again," she once remarked, "it would be easier to be poor. Before I was successful, I was as happy as anyone gets." She is buried in Smith Meeting House Cemetery in Gilmanton, New Hampshire.


Other books by Grace Metalious

 
Peyton Place Cover Image

Find the best price forPeyton Place

Goodreads rating: 3.72

Hardcover, by Blackie Books

ISBN10: 8493736260 | ISBN13: 9788493736262

Page count: 555

Pueblo pequeño, infierno grande. Grace Metalious no sólo desgració la vida de sus vecinos con la publicación, en 1956, de Peyton Place, fenómeno editorial que borró la distinción entre alta y baja cultura cuando confundir ambas cosas aún no estaba de moda. En opinión de muchos, sin este libro no habrían existido Melrose Place y Twin Peaks. Algunos paladines de la utilidad incluso estiman que Peyton Place dio empuje al movimiento feminista estadounidense y ocasión de revisar la hipocresía moral de la época. Pero gracias a este incordio de libro, Metalious también se ganó la muerte social y, según el parecer de sus biógrafos, la cirrosis que acabaría con ella a los treinta y nueve años. La autora había buscado la fama, y la parábola acaba con sus últimas palabras: «Ten cuidado con lo que deseas, porque podrías conseguirlo».
Los lectores no parecían dispuestos a leer en una novela aquello que ponían en práctica, permitían o sufrían en su vida cotidiana, desde el natural despertar de la sexualidad hasta el odio racial y de clase, el incesto, el aborto o la corrupción del poder religioso. Claro que esos mismos lectores habían estado esperando Peyton Place sin saberlo. La leyeron millones, algunos incluso a escondidas, mientras muchos países la prohibían y algún bibliotecario colgaba incluso un cartel en el que se leía: «No tenemos ningún ejemplar de Peyton Place. Si queréis este libro id a Salem». La vida, con perdón, rivaliza aquí con la literatura. El lector honrado, en cualquier caso, deberá admitir que, una vez abierto este libro, no hay manera de cerrarlo. Tal vez porque hay en él menos ficción que realidad. Indecente, quizás. Y fascinante, pues estas cosas suelen ir de la mano. Metalious lo sabía y, aunque un poco tarde, la historia se ha ocupado de colocarla más allá de la provocación, en el lugar que merece como narradora.

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