Mark Twain's Own Autobiography: The Chapters from the North American Review

Overview

Mark Twain’s Own Autobiography stands as the last of Twain’s great yarns. Here he tells his story in his own way, freely expressing his joys and sorrows, his affections and hatreds, his rages and reverence—ending, as always, tongue-in-cheek: “Now, then, that is the tale. Some of it is true.”
    More than the story of a literary career, this memoir is anchored in the writer’s relation to his family—what they meant to him as a husband, father, and artist. It also ...

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Overview

Mark Twain’s Own Autobiography stands as the last of Twain’s great yarns. Here he tells his story in his own way, freely expressing his joys and sorrows, his affections and hatreds, his rages and reverence—ending, as always, tongue-in-cheek: “Now, then, that is the tale. Some of it is true.”
    More than the story of a literary career, this memoir is anchored in the writer’s relation to his family—what they meant to him as a husband, father, and artist. It also brims with many of Twain’s best comic anecdotes about his rambunctious boyhood in Hannibal, his misadventures in the Nevada territory, his notorious Whittier birthday speech, his travels abroad, and more.
    Twain published twenty-five “Chapters from My Autobiography” in the North American Review in 1906 and 1907. “I intend that this autobiography . . . shall be read and admired a good many centuries because of its form and method—form and method whereby the past and the present are constantly brought face to face, resulting in contrasts which newly fire up the interest all along, like contact of flint with steel.”
    For this second edition, Michael Kiskis’s introduction references a wealth of critical work done on Twain since 1990. He also adds a discussion of literary domesticity, locating the autobiography within the history of Twain’s literary work and within Twain’s own understanding and experience of domestic concerns. 

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Twain's only autobiographical writings published in his lifetime and under his supervision: an authorized autobiography. The 25 chapters were published serially in the North American Review, 1906-07, and are collected here for the first time. Covers his private, public, and literary lives. Paper edition (unseen), $12.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299234744
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 2/25/2010
  • Series: Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography Series
  • Edition description: 2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 901,904
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Twain

Michael J. Kiskis (d. 2011) was the Leonard Tydings Grant Professor of American Literature at Elmira College. He was also the co-editor of Constructing Mark Twain: New Directions in Scholarship.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Samuel Langhorne Clemens (real name); Sieur Louis de Conte
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1835
    2. Place of Birth:
      Florida, Missouri
    1. Date of Death:
      April 21, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Redding, Connecticut

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 7, 2012

    As a gift to my son, it was a huge hit!

    My husband, who is a distant relative of Samuel Clemens, managed to read the book before I could get it wrapped as a Christmas gift for my son - but both have just loved it. Now if they'll only share so I can read it also. Just knowing his life, I can only imagine his humor and wit, along with more details than is available with the usual sources, it should be a fabulous read. Only Mark Twain can write his own story.

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    Posted January 1, 2010

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    Posted December 31, 2009

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