definition of Wikipedia
|Robert B. Parker|
photo from Manchester Library
|Born||Robert Brown Parker
September 17, 1932
|Died||January 18, 2010
|Genres||Detective fiction, Western fiction|
|Spouse(s)||Joan Hall Parker (1956 – his death)|
Robert Brown Parker (September 17, 1932 – January 18, 2010) was an American crime writer. His most famous works were the novels about the private detective Spenser. ABC television network developed the television series Spenser: For Hire based on the character in the late 1980s; a series of TV movies based on the character were also produced. His works incorporate encyclopedic knowledge of the Boston metropolitan area. Parker was 77 when he died of a heart attack at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts; discovered at his desk by his wife Joan, he had been working on a novel. The Spenser novels have been cited by critics and bestselling authors such as Robert Crais, Harlan Coben and Dennis Lehane as not only influencing their own work but reviving and changing the detective genre.
Parker was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1956 Parker married Joan H. Parker, whom he claimed to have met as a toddler at a birthday party. They spent their childhoods in the same neighborhood.
After earning a BA degree from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, Parker served as a soldier in the US Army Infantry in the Korean War. In 1957, he earned his Master's degree in English literature from Boston University and then worked in advertising and technical writing until 1962. Parker received a PhD in English literature from Boston University in 1971. His dissertation, titled "The Violent Hero, Wilderness Heritage and Urban Reality," discussed the exploits of fictional private-eye heroes created by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Ross Macdonald.
Parker's popular Spenser novels are known for his characters of varied races and religions. According to critic Christina Nunez, Parker's "inclusion of [characters of] other races and sexual persuasions" lends his writings a "more modern feel". For example, the Spenser series characters include Hawk and Chollo, African-American and Mexican-American, respectively, as well as Spenser's Jewish girlfiend, Susan, various Russians, Ukrainians, Chinese, a gay cop, Lee Farrell, and even a gay mob boss, Gino Fish. The homosexuality of both his sons gives his writing "[a] sensibility," Ms. Nunez feels, "[which] strengthens Parker's sensibility [toward gays]." In 1985 Spenser was made into a successful television series, Spenser for Hire which starred Robert Urich, Avery Brooks and Barbara Stock.
Parker created female detective Sunny Randall at the request of actress Helen Hunt, who wanted him to write a part for her to play. He wrote the first book, and the film version was planned for 2000, but never materialized. However, his publisher liked the character and asked him to continue with the series.
Another figure created by Parker is Jesse Stone, a troubled former LAPD detective, who starts a new career as a police chief in a small New England town. Between 1997 and 2010, he wrote nine novels featuring Jesse Stone, many of which have been adapted as TV movies by CBS starring Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone.
Aside from crime writing, Parker also produced several Western novels, including Appaloosa, and children's books. In 1994 he collaborated with Japanese photographer Kasho Kumagai on a coffee table book called Spenser's Boston, exploring the city through Spenser's "eyes" via high quality, 4-color photos. In addition to Parker's introduction, excerpts from several of the Spenser novels were included.
Parker and his wife had two sons, David and Daniel. Originally, the character of Spenser was to have been called "David," but Parker didn't want to appear to favor one of his sons over the other. Parker therefore omitted Spenser's first name entirely, and, to this day, the first name of the fictional Spenser remains unknown.
Parker and his wife Joan separated at one point but then came to an unusual arrangement: she lived on one floor of a large townhouse, he on another, and they shared the others. This living arrangement is mirrored in Spenser's private life: his girlfriend, Susan, had an aversion to marriage and living together full-time. Living separately suited them both, although they were fully committed to each other.
Parker received three nominations and two Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America. He received the first award, the "Best Novel Award" in 1977, for the fourth novel in the Spenser series, Promised Land. In 1990 he shared, with wife Joan, a nomination for "Best Television Episode" for the TV series B.L. Stryker; however, the award went to David J. Burke and Alfonse Ruggiero Jr. for Wiseguy.
In 2002 he received the Grand Master Award Edgar for his collective oeuvre.
In 2008 he was awarded the Gumshoe Lifetime Achievement Award.
|The Godwulf Manuscript||1973||0-395-18011-2||Spenser 01|
|God Save the Child||1974||0-395-19955-7||Spenser 02|
|Mortal Stakes||1975||0-395-21969-8||Spenser 03|
|Promised Land||1976||0-395-24771-3||Spenser 04||Edgar Award, Best Novel|
|The Judas Goat||1978||0-395-26682-3||Spenser 05|
|Looking for Rachel Wallace||1980||0-385-28558-2||Spenser 06|
|Early Autumn||1980||0-385-28242-7||Spenser 07|
|A Savage Place||1981||0-385-28951-0||Spenser 08|
|The Widening Gyre||1983||0-385-29220-1||Spenser 10|
|Love and Glory||1983||0-385-29261-9||Set at Taft University|
|A Catskill Eagle||1985||0-385-29385-2||Spenser 12|
|Taming a Sea-Horse||1986||0-385-29461-1||Spenser 13|
|Pale Kings and Princes||1987||0-385-29538-3||Spenser 14|
|Crimson Joy||1988||0-385-29668-1||Spenser 15|
|Playmates||1989||0-399-13463-8||Spenser 16||Set at Taft University|
|Poodle Springs||1989||0-399-13482-4||Philip Marlowe||With Raymond Chandler|
|Perchance to Dream||1991||0-399-13580-4||Philip Marlowe||Sequel to The Big Sleep|
|Double Deuce||1992||0-399-13754-8||Spenser 19|
|Paper Doll||1993||0-399-13818-8||Spenser 20|
|Walking Shadow||1994||0-399-13961-3||Spenser 21|
|All Our Yesterdays||1994||0-385-30437-4|
|Thin Air||1995||0-399-14063-8||Spenser 22|
|Small Vices||1997||0-399-14547-8||Spenser 24|
|Night Passage||1997||0-399-14304-1||Jesse Stone 1|
|Trouble in Paradise||1998||0-399-14433-1||Jesse Stone 2|
|Sudden Mischief||1998||0-399-14696-2||Spenser 25|
|Hush Money||1999||0-399-14458-7||Spenser 26|
|Family Honor||1999||0-399-14566-4||Sunny Randall 1|
|Perish Twice||2000||0-399-14668-7||Sunny Randall 2|
|Hugger Mugger||2000||0-399-14587-7||Spenser 27|
|Gunman's Rhapsody||2001||0-399-14762-4||Wyatt Earp in 1879|
|Death in Paradise||2001||0-399-14779-9||Jesse Stone 3|
|Widow's Walk||2002||0-399-14845-0||Spenser 29|
|Shrink Rap||2002||0-399-14930-9||Sunny Randall 3|
|Back Story||2003||0-399-14977-5||Spenser 30||Includes Jesse Stone|
|Stone Cold||2003||0-399-15087-0||Jesse Stone 4|
|Bad Business||2004||0-399-15145-1||Spenser 31|
|Melancholy Baby||2004||0-399-15218-0||Sunny Randall 4|
|Cold Service||2005||0-399-15240-7||Spenser 32|
|Appaloosa||2005||0-399-15277-6||Cole & Hitch|
|School Days||2005||0-399-15323-3||Spenser 33|
|Hundred-Dollar Baby||2006||0-399-15376-4||Spenser 34|
|Sea Change||2006||0-399-15267-9||Jesse Stone 5|
|Blue Screen||2006||0-399-15351-9||Sunny Randall 5||Includes Jesse Stone|
|High Profile||2007||0-399-15404-3||Jesse Stone 6||Includes Sunny Randall|
|Spare Change||2007||0-399-15425-6||Sunny Randall 6||Includes Jesse Stone|
|Now and Then||2007||0-399-15441-8||Spenser 35|
|Stranger In Paradise||2008||0-399-15460-4||Jesse Stone 7|
|The Boxer and the Spy||2008||0-399-24775-0|
|Rough Weather||2008||0-399-15519-8||Spenser 36|
|Resolution||2008||0-399-15504-X||Cole & Hitch|
|Brimstone||2009||0-399-15571-6||Cole & Hitch|
|Chasing the Bear||2009||0-399-24776-9||Spenser 37||"Young Spenser"|
|The Professional||2009||0-399-15594-5||Spenser 38|
|Night and Day||2009||0-399-15541-4||Jesse Stone 8||Includes Sunny Randall|
|Split Image||2010||0-399-15623-2||Jesse Stone 9||Includes Sunny Randall|
|Blue-Eyed Devil||2010||0-399-15648-8||Cole & Hitch|
|Painted Ladies||2010||0-399-15685-2||Spenser 39|
|Sixkill||2011||0-399-15726-3||Spenser 40||Published posthumously|
"Surrogate"' (1991)" A short story published in the crime magazine New Crimes 3 ISBN 0-88184-737-2
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