Thursday, May 27, 2010

Armchair BEA: Author - Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens
Mark Twain

My pick for today's BEA topic: Blast from the Past
- During this time, a lot of new releases are going to be the focus. What if we also remembered some great books released in past years or even classics as an option? Tell us a little bit about books you've cherished, old or new.

I decided to do a twist on this topic and focus on an Author of the past with an autobiography that is about to be released.

Mark Twain had left strict instructions that his uncensored autobiography remain unpublished until 100 years after his death.

The time has come.

Nearly 5000 pages of Mark unedited.

Scholars are divided as to why Twain wanted the first-hand account of his life kept under wraps for so long. Some believe it was because he wanted to talk freely about issues such as religion and politics. Others argue that the time lag prevented him from having to worry about offending friends. (Adams, 2010)

Publisher: University of California Press, Berkeley
Volume I: 743 pages
Release date: November 2010

Volume II and III: within five years

According to Twain, the simple premise behind the free-ranging autobiography was to “talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment.” It's not in chronological order because that's not what he wanted. (Galehouse, 2010)

Mark Twain is most noted for American classics:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Prince and the Pauper

He even inspired a monster mashup:

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim:
Mark Twain's Classic with Crazy Zombie Goodness

by Mark Twain and W. Bill Czolgosz

Description from the amazon:
Free at last! Free at last! This ain't your grandfather's Huckleberry Finn. It's nineteenth century America and a mutant strain of tuberculosis is bringing its victims back from the dead. Sometimes they come back docile, and other times vicious. The vicious ones are sent back to Hell, but the docile ones are put to work as servants and laborers.

With so many zombies on the market, the slave trade is nonexistant. The black man is at liberty, and human bondage is no more. Young Huckleberry Finn has grown up in a world that shuns the N-word, with its scornful eye set on a new class of shambling, putrid sub-humans: The Baggers. When his abusive father comes back into his life, Huck flees down the river with Bagger Jim, seeking a life of perfect freedom.

When the pox mutates once again, causing even the tamest of baggers to become bloodthirsty monsters, the boy Finn is forced to question his relationship with his dearest, deadest friend.

In this revised take on history and classic literature, the modern age is ending before it ever begins. Huckleberry Finn will inherit a world of horror and death, and he knows the mighty Mississippi might be the only way out...


* image source Mark Twain from Appleton's Journal July 4, 1874, Wikimedia Commons

* read this article for more: After keeping us waiting for a century, Mark Twain will finally reveal all
The great American writer left instructions not to publish his autobiography until 100 years after his death, which is now
By Guy Adams in Los Angeles

* source 100 years after his death, Mark Twain gets the final say
By Maggie Galehouse, Houston Chronicle

Armchair BEA
Book Expo America
May 25-27, 2010
a virtual event
(for those of us who could not make the trip to New York)

-o- vvb's Armchair BEA schedule -o-


  1. The biography on Mark Twain might be something worth checking out. Thanks for the heads up, I had no idea.

  2. Mark Twain is surely one of America's literary heros, I'd love to read his autobiography and find this news very exciting!

    That said, the zombie lover in me is drooling over Huckleberry Finn & Zombie Jim lol

  3. I love Twain. Thanks for pulling all of this great info together. Maybe I'll post about one of my favorite "blasts" from the past tomorrow.

  4. Mark Twain would have been a real hoot to hang out with. I've been to his house in Hartford, CT - it is so funky and very cool.

  5. Mark Twain was such an interesting person. I recently watched a documentary about his life on PBS. I really enjoyed it. Great post!

  6. I think Twain was a bit of a blow hard, but a funny one, so I might actually have to read this. Er, bits of it.

  7. Twain's autobiography sounds like it is worth reading or else the most disappointing 100 year wait ever.

  8. I only recently heard about his autobiography being published and I just cannot wait to read it! I've visited his hometown and seen his inspiration, and am now curious to know the man behind it all!

  9. I heard about his autobiography too, and look forward to finding out why he wanted to wait 100 years after publication. I kind of think that if I ever wrote a book of my life, I would ask the same thing -- wait 100 years for publication.

  10. oops I meant to say -- wait 100 years until publication, not 100 years after :-P

  11. Mark Twin is America's literary heroes. He is legendary writer and I love the way he writes. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of my first book. I had read in 2005. I just download Adventures of Huckleberry Finn eBook in PDF and read full story of the novel.


Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu