Re: RARA-AVIS: Gold Medal writers and criticism of paperbacks

From: Marijane Meaker (
Date: 10 Oct 2003

David Goodis had a good reputation as a paperback writer from all I heard. As for how Fawcett felt about congressional hearings, of course they were worried. When one book was judged offensive the whole shipment was sent back. I was told by Dick Carroll, then editor, that if I wrote about homosexuality I was not to appear like an advocate. There were not to be happy endings. Either the gay woman became straight or she was judged abnormal and unhappy. That was in the very early 50's. Later that was relaxed. Vin Packer/Ann Aldrich

Jay Gertzman <> wrote:

> 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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