Robert B. Parker: In Memoriam

This exhibition commemorates the life and career of the late Robert B. Parker, beloved creator of Boston's detective, Spenser. It begins at the beginning, with Parker's doctoral dissertation, The Violent Hero, Wilderness Heritage and Urban Reality: A Study in the Private Eye in the Novels of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald. In 1973, Parker's first novel, The Godwulf Manuscript, introduced the reading world to his tough talking detective. On view are pages from a heavily corrected typescript draft of the novel. The success of the first book lead Parker to abandon a teaching career and begin life as a writing juggernaut that continued right up until his death in January 2010.

The exhibition includes various typewritten drafts, heavy with hand corrections from a number of Mr. Parker's novels. There is also correspondence from Mr. Parker to actor Avery Brooks, "Hawk" from, the popular Spenser For Hire television series, sharing his thoughts on the character as it was originally conceived in the context of the Spenser novels and his frustration with the industry's inability to project that original character. There is also amusing correspondence from fellow writer, Stephen King. Although Parker rarely contributed to the Spenser For Hire series, there are pages on exhibit of a script co-authored by Robert and Joan Parker based on the Spenser novel, Pale Kings and Princes. There is also, on special loan for the exhibition, a letter of condolence to Mrs. Joan Parker from President William J. Clinton expressing his sympathy as an admirer of the author's work. Parker's relationship with the detective writers before him is particularly addressed in his work on Poodle Springs, a novel begun by Raymond Chandler and completed by Parker at the request of the Chandler estate.

Located in the Gotlieb Memorial Gallery on the first of Mugar Memorial Library. The Exhibit can be viewed during regular library hours.

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