Hershel Parker was a 1997 Pulitzer finalist for Herman Melville: A Biography, 1819-1851 (Johns Hopkins, 1996). That volume and Herman Melville: A Biography, 1851-1891 (Johns Hopkins, 2002) each won the R. R. Hawkins award from the Association of American Publishers. The NEW YORKER blog called his Melville Biography: An Inside Narrative one of the “Books to Watch Out For” in January 2013. In Ornery People: What Was a Depression Okie? he is tracing newly discovered family stories in relation to the history of the South.