Books: Outsiders Don't Know

PEYTON PLACE (372 pp.)—Grace Metalious—Julian Messner ($3.95).

A month before this book's publication, Boston papers broke into a rash of headlines: SPICY BOOK HAS NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AGOG. The town: Gilmanton (pop. 750). The book's author: Novelist Grace Metalious, 32, plump, ponytailed, blue-jeaned wife of the principal of Gilmanton's grammar school. The school board had not renewed George Metalious' contract, but the decision was taken, said the board convincingly, before anyone knew what was in the book. Still, Grace remarked grandly to reporters: "I knew this would happen. Everybody who lives in a...

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