Synopses & Reviews
"Mark Twain dictated much of this bookand#151;now it is a book at lastand#151;from a big rumpled bed. Reading it is a bit like climbing in there with him."and#151;Roy Blount, Jr.
"To say that the editors have done an extremely good job is a little like saying the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel does a good job of keeping the rain off the Pope's head. It is true but it doesn't give even a whiff of the grandeur of the thing."and#151;Robert D. Richardson, author of Emerson: The Mind on Fire
"Mark Twain, always so blithely ahead of his time, has just outdone himself: he's brought us an Autobiography from beyond the grave: a hundred-year-old relic that yet manages to accomplish something new. It anticipates the Cubism just taking form in Samuel Clemens's last years, by exploding the confines of orderliness, sequence, the dutiful march of this-then-that. In so doing, it gives us not simply Mark Twain's lifeand#151;that is the prosaic work of biographersand#151;but the ways in which he thought of his life: in all the fragmented recollection, distraction, creation, revision and dreaming that make up the true, divinely jumbled devices we all use to recapture experience and feeling. If this prodigious and prodigal pastiche were a machine, it would be the Paige typesetterand#151;except that it works."and#151;Ron Powers, author of Mark Twain: A Life
The year 2010 marked the 100th anniversary of Mark Twainand#8217;s death. In celebration of this important milestone and in honor of the cherished tradition of publishing Mark Twainand#8217;s works, UC Press published Autobiography of Mark Twain,
Volume 1, the first of a projected three-volume edition of the complete, uncensored autobiography. The book became an immediate bestseller and was hailed as the capstone of the lifeand#8217;s work of Americaand#8217;s favorite author.
This Readerand#8217;s Edition, a portable paperback in larger type, republishes the text of the hardcover Autobiography in a form that is convenient for the general reader, without the editorial explanatory notes. It includes a brief introduction describing the evolution of Mark Twainand#8217;s ideas about writing his autobiography, as well as a chronology of his life, brief family biographies, and an excerpt from the forthcoming Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2and#151;a controversial but characteristically humorous attack on Christian doctrine.
About the Author
Harriet Elinor Smith is an editor at the Mark Twain Project, which is housed within the Mark Twain Papers, the world's largest archive of primary materials by this major American writer. Under the direction of General Editor Robert H. Hirst, the Project's editors are producing the first comprehensive edition of all of Mark Twain's writings.