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INTRODUCTION

Before he died in , Mark Twain stipulated that the full text of his autobiography should not be made public for at least one hundred years. In November , the first of three volumes of this long-awaited text—the complete and uncensored account of Mark Twain's life and times—were published at last. The debut of this last great work of America's best loved author promises to be one of the most significant literary events of the twenty-first century.

A digital edition appears here at MTPO. We appreciate the continued support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the many generous donors who have made this publication possible. In advance of the autobiography's publication, we'd like to share a few scanned excerpts from the raw materials—the manuscripts and typescripts from which the edited volumes are prepared. Click on any image below to zoom in; click and hold to move it; click the zoomed-in image once more to return it to normal size.

This book is not a revenge-record. Albert Bigelow Paine also omitted it from Mark Twain's Autobiography , the text most familiar to readers. The material that he removed from his original texts is published here for the first time. About the Book "I've struck it! From Our Blog.

Twain autobiography – the way he wanted it – hits stores today

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. At other times, reading it feels like eavesdropping on a conversation he is having with himself.

And Twain will begin to seem strange again, alluring and still astonishing, but less sure-footed, and at times both puzzled and puzzling in ways that still resonate with us, though not the ways we might expect.

Mark Twain is terrific company, plain and simple. He knew everyone, went everywhere, seemed to be interested in everything and is capable of making the reader — in — laugh on nearly every page. And this is not, strictly speaking, an autobiography. This is a book for dipping, not plunging. Read, as Twain might put it, until interest pales, and then jump. It feels like a form of time travel.

After keeping us waiting for a century, Mark Twain will finally reveal all | The Independent

His crystalline humor and expansive range are a continuous source of delight and awe. Pull up a chair and revel.

The bard of Hannibal still has much to say. To read this volume is to be introduced to Twain as if, thrillingly, for the first time.

Laced with Twain's unique blend of humor and vitriol, the haphazard narrative is engrossing, hugely funny, and deeply revealing of its author's mind. Twain's memoirs are a pointillist masterpiece from which his vision of America--half paradise, half swindle--emerges with indelible force. We will have to mark time until there is more, but the wait is bound to be worthwhile.

Mark Twain Papers

It's been a century coming, after all. Above all else, the work uniquely captures the processes of individual memory. Take the polemical verve of Christopher Hitchens. Toss in the fun-poking news instincts of the American broadcaster Jon Stewart. Add the traveller's curiosity and gentle wit of a Bill Bryson, plus the raw energy of Ernest Hemingway, and then stir in an entire Oxford dictionary of aphorisms, and you start to get an approximation of a man who spanned virtually every literary genre — and in the process became one of the most quoted and misquoted writers to walk the earth.

Twain employs a light touch, never pausing too long on the same scene, never letting accuracy stand in the way of a good story, putting off academic rigour for the pages of endnotes he probably knew someone would furnish.


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