Mark Twain's Book of Animals by Mark Twain, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Mark Twain's Book of Animals

Mark Twain's Book of Animals

by Mark Twain
     
 

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Longtime admirers of Mark Twain are aware of how integral animals were to his work as a writer, from his first stories through his final years, including many pieces that were left unpublished at his death. This beautiful volume, illustrated with 30 new images by master engraver Barry Moser, gathers writings from the full span of Mark Twain’s career and

Overview

Longtime admirers of Mark Twain are aware of how integral animals were to his work as a writer, from his first stories through his final years, including many pieces that were left unpublished at his death. This beautiful volume, illustrated with 30 new images by master engraver Barry Moser, gathers writings from the full span of Mark Twain’s career and elucidates his special attachment to and regard for animals. What may surprise even longtime readers and fans is that Twain was an early and ardent animal welfare advocate, the most prominent American of his day to take up that cause. Edited and selected by Shelley Fisher Fishkin, who has also supplied an introduction and afterword, Mark Twain’s Book of Animals includes stories that are familiar along with those that are appearing in print for the first time.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fishkin reports that Mark Twain's career-long fascination with instinctual yet intelligent creatures inspired Chuck E. Jones's creation of cartoon icons Wile E. Coyote and Bugs Bunny. Fishkin, director of American studies at Stanford and a Mark Twain authority, showcases the humorist's shrewd observations of both exotic and common animals, including his nemesis, the housefly (“I would go out of my way, and put aside my dearest occupation, to kill a fly”). She contrasts intentionally educational yet humorous commentary with a brutally detailed exposé on cockfighting and a denunciation of vivisection. This collection of letters, stories, travelogues and personal recollections—some appearing in print for the first time—effectively juxtaposes witty morality with bitterness manifested in his later work in which he rails against microbes and an uncaring Creator after losing three children to illness. Fishkin presents a lucid opening essay and informative endnotes. Animal lovers and fiction readers alike will want to read this illustration of an unfamiliar facet of an American literary giant. The anthology succinctly represents Twain's admiration for the animal kingdom and relentless optimism in the face of human inadequacies. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"An unfamiliar facet of a literary giant. . . . Succinctly represents Twain's admiration for the animal kingdom and relentless optimism in the face of human inadequacies."--Publishers Weekly

"A work that can easily be enjoyed by the casual reader of Twain and certainly qualifies as an essential volume for the devoted Twain scholar."--Mark Twain Forum

"This collection is as entertaining, visceral, sardonic and chastising as any of his [Twain's] major works."--Kansas City Star

"Damn near flawless. . . . The perfect holiday gift-book."--Open Letters Blog

"Enjoy the tongue-twisting discourse Twain engages in with his two daughters about cats and much more."--Cat Fancy

Mark Twain Forum - Martin Zehr
“This collection is as entertaining, visceral, sardonic and chastising as any of his [Twain’s] major works.”
Open Letters Blog
“Damn near flawless. . . . The perfect holiday gift-book.”
Cat Fancy
“Enjoy the tongue-twisting discourse Twain engages in with his two daughters about cats and much more.”
The Bloomsbury Review - R.k Dickson
“Brings together full stories, sketches, and brief passages that demonstrate Twain’s unique voice, skill as a writer, compassion, and humor. The engravings bring home the directness to Twain’s prose and add a special sense of wonder to this charming yet sobering book.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520271524
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
07/01/2011
Series:
Jumping Frogs: Undiscovered, Rediscovered, and Celebrated Writings of Mark Twain Series
Pages:
344
Sales rank:
296,075
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.70(h) x 1.80(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"An unfamiliar facet of a literary giant. . . . Succinctly represents Twain's admiration for the animal kingdom and relentless optimism in the face of human inadequacies."—Publishers Weekly

"A work that can easily be enjoyed by the casual reader of Twain and certainly qualifies as an essential volume for the devoted Twain scholar."—Mark Twain Forum

"This collection is as entertaining, visceral, sardonic and chastising as any of his [Twain's] major works."—Kansas City Star

"Damn near flawless. . . . The perfect holiday gift-book."—Open Letters Blog

"Enjoy the tongue-twisting discourse Twain engages in with his two daughters about cats and much more."—Cat Fancy

Meet the Author

Shelley Fisher Fishkin is Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities, Professor of English and Director of American Studies at Stanford University. She is the author of many books, including Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture and Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African-American Voices. She edited Is He Dead?, a new play by Mark Twain, and is also the editor of the 29-volume Oxford Mark Twain. Barry Moser is one of America's foremost wood engravers and is the proprietor of the Pennyroyal Press. Among the books he has illustrated are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Moby Dick, or The Whale, all from UC Press. The Mark Twain Project is housed within the Mark Twain Papers, the world's largest archive of primary materials by this major American writer.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
November 30, 1835
Date of Death:
April 21, 1910
Place of Birth:
Florida, Missouri
Place of Death:
Redding, Connecticut

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