RARA-AVIS: Gold Medal writers and criticism of paperbacks

From: Jay Gertzman ( jgertzma@earthlink.net)
Date: 10 Oct 2003

Dear Ms Meeker: While at Gold Medal, did you hear anything positive or negative about the crime novelist David Goodis? He did _Street of No Return_, _Cassidy's Girl_, _Down There_, _Fire in the Flesh_, _Street of the Lost_. His _Cassidy's Girl_ (1951)sold over 1 million copies. He may have been mentioned as a successful "paperback original" writer. And as an eccentric.

Do you remember any specific instructions Gold Medal writers may have received as a result of the 1951 Gathings Congressional Committee investigation into the influence of paperbacks or young people, or on the effect of "lurid" paperbacks on the "spread" of pornography or even communism? The committee's hunt for scapegoats and easy explanations of juvenile delinquency made headlines, as did the Kefauver Committee hearings a few years later. I wonder if the Gold Medal executives were concerned, or merely happy for the publicity, regarding these committees.

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