Alumni Magazine

FAL-WIN 2018

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

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Page 16 of 47

RAVENINGS 'Peyton Place' Revisited W hen the novel "Peyton Place" was first published in 1956, its depictions of sex, class and murder in a small New England town shocked the nation. Residents of the Rivermead Lifecare Center lived through that era and several residents joined Pierce students, faculty and staff on the Rindge campus in February to discuss the once-banned book. e group discussion was an offshoot of last year's successful NEA Big Read of "My Antonia." e center's residents related well to the students because they were the same age when the book was released. Dr. Donna Decker, professor of English said, "Hosting the residents of Rivermead at our university was such a rich experience. e room was full of students and seniors, and from the very start, everyone wanted in on the dialogue." "Peyton Place" was taboo and controversial. One resident shared that she read the book in secret. "It was scandalous. My mother and I read it without my father knowing." Students observed that the book's topics of race, class, privilege and abortion are still as volatile in today's conversation as they were in the 1950s. "is experience was great for students and the campus community to engage with local residents," said Dr. Sarah Dangelantonio, professor of English. "ese discussions promote cultural stimulation on campus, interest in literature in our surrounding community, promotes character and good fellowship, and serves society by fostering literacy." e next Big Read is scheduled for this fall. — Alexa Wallace '16 MBA '19 BIG READ FALL / WINTER 2018 PIERCE 15

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