Elvis and Gladys
By Elaine Dundy
352 pp., bibliography, index
1578066344 Paper $25.00T
An intimate story of the King of Rock 'n' Roll and his adoring mother
Who on the planet doesn't know that Elvis Presley gave electrifying performances and enthralled millions? Who doesn't know that he was the King of Rock 'n' Roll? But who knows that the King himself lived in the thrall of one dominant person?
This was Gladys Smith Presley, his protective, indulgent, beloved mother.
Elvis and Gladys, one of the best researched and most acclaimed books on Elvis's early life, reconstructs the extraordinary role Gladys played in her son's formative years.
Uncovering facts not seen by other biographers, Elvis and Gladys reconstructs for the first time the history of the mother and son's devoted relationship and reveals new information about Elvis--his Cherokee ancestry, his boyhood obsession with comic books, and his early compulsion to rescue his family from poverty.
Coming to life in the compelling narrative is the poignant story of a unique boy and the maternal tie that bound him. It is at once an intimate psychological portrait of a tragic relationship and a mesmerizing tale of the early years of an international idol.
"For once, a legend is presented to us by the mind and heart of a literate, careful biographer who cares," wrote Liz Smith in the New York Daily News when Elvis and Gladys was originally published in 1985. This is the book, Smith says, "for any Elvis lover who wants to know more about what made Presley the man he was and the mama's boy he became."
The Boston Globe called this thoughtful, informative biography of one of popular music's most enduring stars "nothing less than the best Elvis book yet."
Elaine Dundy is the author of several books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Dud Avocado; Finch, Bloody Finch; Ferriday, Louisiana; and the memoir Life Itself!
Photo credit: Elvis and Gladys, courtesy of Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation352 pp., bibliography, index