Jay Parini is Axinn Professor of English at Middlebury College, Vermont. His six novels also include Benjamins Crossing and The Apprentice Lover. His volumes of poetry include The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems. In addition to biographies of John Steinbeck, Robert Frost and William Faulkner, he has written a volume of essays on literature and politics, as well as The Art of Teaching. He edited the Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature and writes regularly for the Guardian and other publications.
Author photo © Oliver Parini
A fictionalised account of the tormented and, for the time, scandalous life of Herman Melville, author of the 19C classic Moby Dick. 1841. A young Herman Melville is yet to write Moby Dick. He sets out on a voyage aboard a whaling ship. What happens on that trip will give him enough material for a lifetime of writing. But what of the dark things Melville encounters on his journey, and the illicit relationships he embarks upon that are to torment him once he returns home to his wife Lizzie?...
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTUREA New York Times Notable BookAs Leo Tolstoy's life draws to a tumultuous close, his tempestuous wife and most cunning disciple are locked in a whirlwind battle for the great man's soul. Torn between his professed doctrine of poverty and chastity and the reality of his enormous wealth and thirteen children, Tolstoy dramatically flees his home, only to fall ill at a tiny nearby rail station. The famous (and famously troubled) writer believes he is dying alone, unaware that over a hundred newspapermen camp outside awaiting hourly reports on his condition.Jay Parini moves deftly between a colorful cast of characters to create a stunning portrait of one of the world's most treasured authors. Dancing between fact and fiction, The Last Station is a brilliant and moving literary performance.From the Trade Paperback edition.