From Beyond, Mark Twain Lets Loose

'Who Is Mark Twain' cover image
Who Is Mark Twain?
By Mark Twain
Hardcover, 240 pages
HarperStudio
List Price: $19.99

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Mark Twain

Mark Twain published more than a dozen books and hundreds of shorter pieces during his lifetime. Getty Images

Best known for crowd-pleasers like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and for his lucrative speaking tours, Mark Twain was a writer whose livelihood depended on maintaining enough down-home affability to appeal to the masses. Yet as we see in Who Is Mark Twain?, a new collection of previously unpublished writings, he fantasized constantly about the freedom death would bring.

Among the writings left behind at Twain’s death in 1910, at age 74 — in his “large box of Posthumous Stuff” — were squibs, rants, unfinished essays and his most heretical and passionate work, Letters From The Earth, a satirical attack on Christianity so scathing that his daughter forbade its publication until the 1960s.   ... more