Author(s): Mark Twain
"I've struck it!" Mark Twain wrote in a 1904 letter to a friend. "And I will give it away - to you. You will never know how much enjoyment you have lost until you get to dictating your autobiography". Thus, after dozens of false starts and hundreds of pages, Twain embarked on his "Final (and Right) Plan" for telling the story of his life. His innovative notion - to "talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment" - meant that his thoughts could range freely. The strict instruction that many of these texts remain unpublished for 100 years meant that when they came out, he would be "dead, and unaware, and indifferent", and that he was therefore free to speak his "whole frank mind". The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Twain's death. In celebration of this important milestone and in honor of the cherished tradition of publishing Mark Twain's works, UC Press is proud to offer for the first time Mark Twain's uncensored autobiography in its entirety and exactly as he left it. This major literary event brings to readers, admirers, and scholars the first of three volumes and presents Mark Twain's authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave as he intended. Editors: Harriet E. Smith, Benjamin Griffin, Victor Fischer , Michael B. Frank, Sharon K. Goetz, Leslie Myrick.
"Dip into the first enormous volume of Twain's autobiography that he had decreed should not appear until 100 years after his death. 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."--New York Times "Twain's writing here is electric, alternately moving and hilarious. He couldn't write a ho-hum sentence."--Library Journal "Pure Twain at his typically discursive, rambling, and droll... The bard of Hannibal still has much to say." --American Heritage "With the uncensored Twain finally here, we're the furthest thing from indifferent."--Time Magazine "Promises a no-holds barred perspective on Twain's life, and will be rich with rambunctious, uncompromising opinions."--Herald Scotland
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.