Who Is Mark Twain?
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Who Is Mark Twain?

3.65 (352 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"[Twain] was, in the phrase of his friend William Dean Howells, 'the Lincoln of our literature'... At the heart of his work lies that greatest of all American qualities: irreverence."
-- Washington Post

"More than 100 years after [Twain] wrote these stories, they remain not only remarkably funny but remarkably modern.... Ninety-nine years after his death, Twain still manages to get the last laugh."
-- Vanity Fair

Who Is Mark Twain? is a collection of twenty six wickedly funny, thought-provoking essays by Samuel Langhorne Clemens--aka Mark Twain--none of which have ever been published before, and all of which are completely contemporary, amazingly relevant, and gut-bustingly hilarious.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 134.62 x 205.74 x 25.4mm | 294.83g
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0061735000
  • 9780061735004
  • 1,526,692

Review quote

"As funny and insightful as any of [Twain's] published and well-known works, these essays take on the federal government, religion, race, fame, and even the literary canon with a sharp-eyed clarity we can chuckle over as we read while feeling uncomfortable knowing that they feel all too contemporary."--Walter Mosley
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Back cover copy

You had better shove this in the stove," Mark Twain said at the top of an 1865 letter to his brother, "for I don't want any absurd 'literary remains' and 'unpublished letters of Mark Twain' published after I am planted." He was joking, of course. But when Mark Twain died in 1910, he left behind the largest collection of personal papers created by any nineteenth-century American author.

Here, for the first time in book form, are twenty-four remarkable pieces by the American master--pieces that have been handpicked by Robert Hirst, general editor of the Mark Twain Project at the University of California, Berkeley. In "Jane Austen," Twain wonders if Austen's goal is to "make the reader detest her people up to the middle of the book and like them in the rest of the chapters." "The Privilege of the Grave" offers a powerful statement about the freedom of speech while "Happy Memories of the Dental Chair" will make you appreciate modern dentistry. In "Frank Fuller and My First New York Lecture" Twain plasters the city with ads to promote his talk at the Cooper Union (he is terrified no one will attend). Later that day, Twain encounters two men gazing at one of his ads. One man says to the other: "Who is Mark Twain?" The other responds: "God knows--I don't."

Wickedly funny and disarmingly relevant, Who Is Mark Twain? shines a new light on one of America's most beloved literary icons--a man who was well ahead of his time.
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Rating details

352 ratings
3.65 out of 5 stars
5 18% (64)
4 39% (138)
3 34% (119)
2 7% (26)
1 1% (5)
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