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Melville Biography: An Inside Narrative Hardcover – 30 Jan 2013
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About the Author
<strong>Hershel Parker</strong> is the general editor of the Northwestern-Newberry Edition of <em>The Writings of Herman Melville</em> published by Northwestern University Press in alliance with the Newberry Library and the Centre for Scholarly Editions of the Modern Language Association. Parker is the author of the comprehensive two-volume <em>Herman Melville: A Biography</em>.
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To the average reader, most of "Melville Biography" will seem like a lot of inside baseball. But if you have even a modest acquaintance with some of the secondary literature on Melville, I think you'll find this volume fascinating. Although I'm by no means a scholar or widely read in Melvilliana, I could not put the book down. Many of Prof. Parker's colleagues may be irritated by his straightforwardness in identifying flaws in others' work, but for those of us with no investment in one side or another -- for those of us who simply want to better understand one of our favorite authors -- "Melville Biography" is a precious resource.
Melville, our greatest novelist, deserves Parker, our greatest biographer. My own opinion is that Parker was robbed of the Pulitzer for Herman Melville: A Biography. Is it too much to hope that the Pulitzer committee corrects its mistake by selecting Melville Biography: An Inside Narrative for next year's prize?
Robert Pratt Hastie