The Passages of H.M.

A Novel of Herman Melville

By Jay Parini
(Anchor Books, Paperback, 9780307386199, 454pp.)

Publication Date: November 1, 2011

List Price: $16.95*
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With the same masterly touch that made The Last Station so powerful, Jay Parini penetrates the mind and soul of another literary titan.
Through the eyes of his long-suffering wife, Lizzie, we are introduced to an aging, angry, and drunken Herman Melville. He is decades past his flourishing career as a writer of bestselling tales of seagoing adventures. His epic but ungainly Moby-Dick was meant to make him immortal, but critics scoffed and readers fled. He spends his days trudging the docks of New York as a customs inspector and contemplating his malign literary fate. But within him is stirring, perhaps, one great work yet. . . . In a narrative that shifts seamlessly between Lizzie’s personal account and evocative snapshots of Melville’s crowded life, Parini manages to humanize a giant of letters, while illuminating the source of his matchless creativity.

About the Author
Jay Parini is a poet, novelist, and biographer, author of The Last Station, which was made into an Academy Award-nominated film in 2009. His novels and biographies (Steinbeck, Frost, Faulkner) have been translated into over thirty languages. He is Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing at Middlebury College. He has edited many books, including the Norton Anthology of American Autobiography, The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry, and the Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature. He is a regular contributor to "The Chronicle of Higher Education, CNN, The New York Times", and "The Guardian". He has also written for GQ, "The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post", and "".
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