June 14th, 2011

andrew potter

Peggy Gaddis (March 5, 1895 - June 14, 1966)

Erolie Pearl Gaddis was born in Gaddistown, Georgia on March 5, 1895. She married John Sherman Dern in 1931. She wrote as both Peggy Gaddis and Peggy Dern indiscriminately, sometimes swapping the bylines on different editions of the same book. Peggy was probably a family nickname dating from her childhood; since it is not a recognized nickname for either of her given names. The author of her biography, considers it a pseudonym, even though it was probably the name she was known by in everyday life.

According to Contemporary Authors her early career revolved around the entertainment business. She claimed to have appeared on stage and in movies as an actress there is no proof of such work. She edited trade journals and fan magazines, presumably in the 1920’s; at a later time she edited at least one romance pulp magazine. She is known to have written prolifically for the romance pulps but these magazines are poorly documented and the handful of stories currently known are a drop in the bucket.

As a novelist her work was confined entirely to two closely related genres, virtually all of it written for lending library publishers. For thirty years she wrote traditional romances, almost entirely for one publisher, Arcadia House. For the last ten of those years she wrote principally nurse novels. She also wrote “love novels,” a somewhat sleazier form of romance that was invented by the lending library publishers. In the 1930’s she wrote them for William Godwin, Inc. and in the 1940’s for Phoenix Press. By 1951 this genre had been abandoned by the hardcover publishers and found a new home in the proliferating digest-size paperbacks. These publishers faded away by 1955, those that survived shifting to soft core porn. Most of the older authors, like Peggy Gaddis, chose not to follow this direction and fell back on writing traditional romances. In the early 1960’s Arcadia House found that there was a mass-market audience for their romances, especially the nurse novels. A flood of Gaddis’s novels were reprinted, some of them several times, under a bewildering array of titles and bylines.

Peggy Gaddis passed away on June 14, 1966. For several years her novels continued to be reprinted, but by the mid-1970’s tastes in romances had changed and her work gradually faded into obscurity. A number of her works have been reprinted in Large Print editions in recent years but this has failed to produce a revival of interest in her work at large and she has never become a “cult” author. By the time the first edition of Twentieth Century Romance Writers was published, in 1982, she was already passé. The only biographical entry in a major reference work is the one in Contemporary Authors, from which the above summary is taken.

A word of explanation is needed about some of the more obscure paperback publishers. In the 1970’s a new phenomenon sprang up, involving the large scale reissue, in facsimile, of paperback books originally issued by Belmont Books, Macfadden Books, and Lancer Books, including the latter’s romance imprint, Valentine Books. Reprints of the first two were issued under the imprint of Unibooks, without book numbers. Lancer Books were reissued as Magnum Books and Valentine Books were reprinted with the same imprint, in both cases using the original book numbers. These imprints were “instant remainder” publications, marked to sell at 25 to 50 cents, while carrying a higher “cover price” at which they were never sold. These books were sold to discount department stores, like Woolworth’s, at a much lower wholesale rate, on a non-returnable basis. The reissue of romances in these series apparently proved so popular that eventually some imprints, like Valentine Books, began to issue new titles, reprinted from hardcovers, that had not been in paperback before.

Peggy Gaddis's Books on Amazon: Peggy Gaddis

Peggy Dern's Books on Amazon: Peggy Dern

Source: http://www.philsp.com/homeville/KRJ/gaddis.htm
andrew potter

Louise Redfield Peattie (June 14, 1900 - ?)

Louise Redfield Peattie was born June 14, 1900, in Northern Illinois, the daughter of Robert and Bertha Dreier Redfield; she married Donald C. Peattie in 1923; they had 4 children, three sons and a daughter, who died young.

Louise Redfield Peattie's father was a prominent corporate lawyer, and her mother was the daughter of the Danish consul in Chicago. They gave Peattie a very happy childhood, much of it spent on the extensive farm where she was born—an estate established by Peattie's ancestors several generations back. Peattie was educated by tutors and in private schools in Chicago, and her marriage to the naturalist-writer Donald C. Peattie was a very happy one, although the couple's only daughter died young. They also had three sons.

The family has lived in various places: Washington, D.C.; Provence and the French Riviera; Peattie's childhood home; and Tryon, North Carolina. They finally settled in Santa Barbara, California. Each place has given Peattie colorful settings for the fiction she began to write shortly after her marriage. With her husband's generous encouragement and cooperation, she became a prolific author. At times they collaborated on books, but most of Peattie's writing has been on her own.

Peattie summed up her life work in these words:
"Grateful for the opportunity to combine a career with family life, it has been my endeavor that my family shall profit, never suffer, from my occupation with writing. My greatest pride is in the share I am privileged to have in my husband's writing; this is the first of my interests. All that I asked of life in the first hope of youth has been fulfilled; I ask now only the opportunity to complete fully what we have begun together."
Peattie's fiction is almost invariably concerned with the problems of male-female relationships and those of parents and children. Reviewers have praised the breadth of her insight into the inner lives of men and women and her sense of the comic as well as the pathetic. Peattie's poetic prose has pleased many critics, and her delicate sentiment usually manages to escape sentimentality.

Not all readers agree Peattie's work is entirely devoid of oversweetness, and some critics have objected to the "thinness" of some of her stories. The style of Peattie's later books often comes perilously close to being precious and affected.

A Child in Her Arms (1938) shows what happens when a beautiful, barren woman longing for a child meets a beautiful pregnant girl who eventually gives birth to a perfect baby. The first woman is wealthy and educated, with a husband who wants only her happiness; the second is the "earth mother" type, almost a symbol of maternity, with no family and no place to go. Star at Noon (1939) tells of the oddly assorted members of a family coming together, puzzled and wondering about their tangled relationships: a man and his second wife, his second wife's son, his first wife, and his daughter.

The problems of these plots are beautifully smoothed out to leave the reader satisfied that human affairs can always be resolved, although not without emotional turmoil and soul-searching. Of one of Peattie's books a critic says,
"It leaves the impact of a bigger and better story than it is, perhaps; but nevertheless it is a crisp, economical job of writing that makes for entertaining reading."
Although Peattie's work can certainly not be called great realistic fiction, it cannot be considered mere "light romance." Serious purpose is at the core of each novel and story.

Louise Redfield Peattie's Books on Amazon: Louise Redfield Peattie

Source: http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/aww_03/aww_03_00948.html

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andrew potter

Event: Pride Month @ Barnes & Noble (Upper West Side)

Date: Thursday, Jun 16
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Barnes & Noble Bookstore
2289 Broadway at 82 Street New York City.

Hosted by Lou Pizzitola

Don Lemon, Emmy Award-winning CNN correspondent, joins us for this special Pride event and talks about his memoir Transparent, his path to journalism and the secrets about himself that he’s kept hidden from the public.

Transparent by Don Lemon
Hardcover: 264 pages
Publisher: Farrah Gray Fndtn Pr (May 11, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982702787
ISBN-13: 978-0982702789
Amazon: Transparent

In this unique memoir, Primetime CNN anchor Don Lemon takes readers behind the scenes of journalism, detailing his own struggle to become one of the most prominent African American men in television news—and inside some of the biggest stories of our times.

Never one to stop at the surface of the story, Lemon digs deep, exposing his own history with wealth and lack, with family secrets and painful revelations--and explains how those painful early experiences shaped his ambitions and gave him the tools of empathy and fearlessness that he brings to his work. Then Lemon turns the same searing honesty on the news industry itself, taking the reader behind the scenes of September 11, 2001, the DC Snipers, the epidemic of AIDS in Africa, Hurricane Katrina, the election of Barack Obama, and the death of Michael Jackson among other events.

With his clear and compelling storytelling and the rich detail of an Emmy-winning journalist, Lemon reveals his own painful journey from a little boy who dreamed of broadcasting in segregated Baton Rouge in the early 70s, to his current perch at CNN in a fascinating and compelling look at the world of television news and his own experiences reporting in it.