Literary Techniques

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Peyton Place is constructed through overlapping individual biographies arranged roughly along a chronological continuum with ample...

(The entire section is 291 words.)

Ideas for Group Discussions

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

1. If members of the group are old enough to have read Peyton Place when it first came out in the mid-fifties, they might discuss the...

(The entire section is 340 words.)

Literary Precedents

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

The literary expose of the small town has a long and distinguished tradition in America since the turn of the century. Authors such as...

(The entire section is 216 words.)

Related Titles

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Metalious wrote or rather co-wrote a sequel to Peyton Place called Return to Peyton Place (1959), in which many of the...

(The entire section is 270 words.)


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Metalious sold all of the Peyton Place rights to Jerry Wald, a producer at Twentieth Century-Fox. In the deal Wald acquired movie and...

(The entire section is 471 words.)


(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Callahan, Michael. “Peyton Place’s Real Victim.” Vanity Fair, March, 2006, 32. Provides an overview of Metalious’s life and describes the novel’s evolution.

Cameron, Ardis. Introduction to Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1999. Cameron encouraged Northeastern University Press to reprint the long-neglected novel for its fiftieth anniversary. Her introduction praises Metalious’s detailed examination of a small town, arguing that it offers surprising insights into the nature of postwar American culture and the regulation of women’s lives.

Gumbel, Andrew. “The Original Desperate Housewife: America Remembers Grace Metalious.” The Independent (London), February 20, 2006. Explores the possible resurgence of interest in the novel with its fiftieth anniversary; mentions that actress Sandra Bullock has acquired the film rights to Toth’s biography of Metalious.

Metalious, George, and June O’Shea. The Girl from Peyton Place. New York: Dell, 1965. Published the year after the author’s death, this biography was cowritten by her former husband.

Miner, Madonne M. Insatiable Appetites: Twentieth-Century American Women’s Bestsellers. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1984. Examines five best sellers, including Peyton Place. Focuses on the use of fairy-tale motifs in the novel, such as the splitting and doubling of characters and the distribution of reward and punishment.

Sova, Dawn B. Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Sexual Grounds. New York: Facts On File, 1998. Reviews the initial reaction to the novel and its history of censorship.

Toth, Emily. Inside Peyton Place: The Life of Grace Metalious. Rev. ed. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2000. Sympathetic portrait of the author. Describes the parallels between Metalious’s life and those of her characters, as well as the controversy surrounding the novel.

Wood, Ruth Pirsig. Lolita in Peyton Place: Highbrow, Middlebrow, and Lowbrow Novels of the 1950’s. New York: Garland, 1995. Discusses the novel as an example of 1950’s middlebrow fiction, which assured female readers that they would be rewarded for following society’s rules and punished for subverting them.