“Mark Twain is the true father of all American literature.” -Eugene O’Neill
Mark Twain is perhaps the most widely read and enjoyed of all our national writers. Tom Sawyer, according to Twain, “is simply a hymn put into prose form to give it a worldly air,” a book in which nostalgia is so strong that it dissolves the tensions and perplexities that assert themselves in the later works. It is filled with comic and melodramatic adventure, with horseplay and poetic evocations of scenery, and with characters who have become central to American mythology. For almost thirty years, The Library of America has presented America’s best and most significant writing in acclaimed hardcover editions. Now, a new series, Library of America Paperback Classics, offers attractive and affordable books that bring The Library of America’s authoritative texts within easy reach of every reader. Each book features an introductory essay by one of a leading writer, as well as a detailed chronology of the author’s life and career, an essay on the choice and history of the text, and notes. The contents of this Paperback Classic are drawn from Mark Twain: Mississippi Writings, volume number 5 in the Library of America series. It is joined in the series by six companion volumes, gathering the collected works of Mark Twain.