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
MELVILLE BIOGRAPHY: AN INSIDE NARRATIVE functions as both prologue and epilogue to Herman Melville: A Biography (Herman Melville: A Biography (Volume 1, 1819-1851), Herman Melville: A Biography (Volume 2, 1851-1891)), as Parker's Melville: The Making of the Poet expands his second volume of the big biography. Parker's work compares to that of the great Shakespeare scholars: E. K. Chambers, who in volume after volume established the modern understanding of Shakespeare and his theatre, S. Schoenbaum, who sorted out Shakespeare's lives, and Andrew Gurr, the modern Chambers. None of these had to deal with the resistance Parker did when presenting his profound research, including paradigm-shifting discoveries that were ignored or denied by his reviewers. Hereafter, as Melville said about a contemporary writer, "a grateful posterity will take the best care" of Hershel Parker.