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The Passages of Herman Melville Hardcover – 1 Jan 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd (1 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184767979X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847679796
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.7 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,264,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


In fiction and biography, Jay Parini has brought to life Tolstoy, Frost, Faulkner, Benjamin, and Steinbeck. Now he has added Herman Melville to that remarkable pantheon, and the tale is surprising, insightful, and deeply moving. Melville has never seemed more alive to me - and more human. --Chris Bohjalian, author of Secrets of Eden, The Double Bind, and Midwives

Once again Jay Parini has taken us in literary imagination, cultural history, and biography through his ingenious fiction. In elegant and moving prose, Parini opens up Melville..... A novel of startling and inventive journeys, and no reader will come away from it seeing Melville the same. --Peter Balakian, author of Black Dog of Fate

Jay Parini, against all odds, captures his white whale of a subject and then frees him for us to behold. [He] re-animates Melville to startling effect: the creator walks as a character; the genius turns back into a husband; imperishable literature springs from the accidents of life. --Tom Mallon, author of Fellow Travelers and Henry and Clara

[A] compelling novel...What is most rewarding about this richly detailed book is Parini's ability to frame a story of heroic faiure with the knowedge that its subject will one day triumph. --The Sunday Times

Parini's novel is a bravura and often engrossing attempt to blend the disparate strands of Melville's art and life in two perspectives. --Guardian

Parini's eminently readable narrative convincingly fills in hitherto dark places. [This novel] will not replace the standard biographies; it will, however, add flesh to their bones. --Financial Times

Powerfully conveys the allure of the sea, and of the ships that do battle with its creatures. And Parini's evocation of Melville's relationships is moving. --The Observer

Parini, a poet, biographer and literary critic as well as a novelist, can write with admirable lyric intensity. --The Scotsman

Engaging and sympathetic. --The Literary Review

A thrilling tale... [Parini] has the knack for finding just the right phrase. ... There is much to admire in this novel. --Independent on Sunday

Book Description

The story of an American literary giant's extraordinary life from the author of The Last Station

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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