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Current Mark Twain bibliography.

Current Mark Twain Bibliography is a means of giving notice of what's new in Mark Twain scholarship. Where annotations are used, they are in most cases descriptive blurbs provided by publishers (or in some cases, by authors) with value judgments edited out. If you have recently published something that you would like to have included in this list, send it to me by e-mail (, or by other means.


Aller, Susan Bivin. Mark Twain: A & E Biography. Lerner Publications, 2001. Softcover, 8.49 x 5.89. 112 pages. $7.95. ISBN 0-8225-9696-2. [Reviewed for the Mark Twain Forum by Dave Thomson on Sept. 5, 2001.]

Bell, James E. Mark Twain and 8100 Goggin Kin. Bell Books, Randy & Ellen Bell, P.O. Box 49, Rich Hill, MO 64779. (417) 3952275. Map. Photos. 472 pages. $30.00 + $5.00 shipping (which includes insurance). To order, contact the author at 573-358-1640. [Reviewed for the Mark Twain Forum on Sept. 1, 2001 by Mary Leah Christmas.]

Kete, Mary Louise. Sentimental Collaborations: Mourning and Middle-Class Identity in Nineteenth-Century America. Duke University Press, 1999. 304 pages. Bibliographical notes and index. Paperback. $17.95. ISBN 0-8223-2471-7. Includes chapters titled "Invoking the Bonds of Affection: Tom Sawyer and America's Morning" and "Mourning America's Morning: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." [Reviewed for the Mark Twain Forum on Jan. 10, 2001 by Gregg Camfield.]

Kiskis, Michael J. Samuel Clemens and Me: Class, Mothers, and the Trauma of Loss. Quarry Farm Papers - No. 8. 2001. Paperback. 28 pp. ISBN 1055-1492. Kiskis's reader-response approach uses his own personal history as a point of comparison for understanding the role played by such factors as the relation of Sam Clemens to his mother, anxieties about class distinctions and expectations, and the after-effects of personal loss in the works produced by Clemens in his public guise as Mark Twain.

Messent, Peter. The Short Works of Mark Twain: A Critical Study. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001. 280 pages. 6 x 9. Cloth. $45.00. ISBN 0-8122-3622-X. Between 1867, when The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches was published, and the appearance in 1906 of The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories, seven major collections of short works appeared under the name Mark Twain. It has long been held that in most cases Twain had little to do with assembling these books, viewing them mainly as moneymaking ventures and leaving the work largely to others. In the first full and sustained study of the collections ever to appear, Peter Messent argues to the contrary. Exploring the publication history of the volumes as well as primary documents, Messent demonstrates that Twain's part in the making of these books was, in fact, considerable. Reading the collections of short works as well as individual tales alongside his novels, Messent discusses Twain's development as an artist in terms of the changing emphases that mark his use of different forms and themes, and the changing modes of humor that he employed. [Reviewed for the Mark Twain Forum on Feb. 8, 2002 by Jason Horn.] [Text from dust jacket.]

Quirk, Tom. Nothing Abstract: Investigations in the American Literary Imagination. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2001. 234 pages. Cloth, 6 x 9. $34.95. ISBN 0-8262-1364-2. A collection of essays gathered over the past twenty years--all of which, in some fashion, have to do with a genetic approach to literary study. Quirk resists the direction taken by contemporary theory in favor of an approach to literature through source and influence study, the evolution of a writer's achievement, the establishment of biographical or other contexts, and the transition from one literary era to another. Includes chapters titled "What If Poe's Humorous Tales Were Funny? Poe's 'X-ing a Paragrab' and Twain's 'Journalism in Tennessee'" and "Mark Twain in His Short Works." [Reviewed for the Mark Twain Forum on March 4, 2002 by William F. Hecker.] [Text from advertising copy.]

Skandera Trombley, Laura E., and Michael J. Kiskis (Editors). Constructing Mark Twain: New Directions in Scholarship. University of Missouri Press, 2001. Hardcover. 272 pages. $34.95 ISBN: 0826213774. The thirteen essays in this collection combine to offer a complex and deeply nuanced picture of Samuel Clemens. With the purpose of straying from the usual notions of Clemens (most notably the Clemens/Twain split that has ruled Twain scholarship for over thirty years), the editors have assembled contributions from a wide range of Twain scholars. As a whole, the collection argues that it is time we approach Clemens not as a shadow behind the literary persona but as a complex and intricate creator of stories, a creator who is deeply embedded in the political events of his time and who used a mix of literary, social, and personal experience to fuel the movements of his pen. The essays illuminate Clemens's connections with people and events not usually given the spotlight and introduce us to Clemens as a man deeply embroiled in the process of making literary gold out of everyday experiences. From Clemens's wonderings on race and identity to his looking to family and domesticity as defining experiences, from musings on the language that Clemens used so effectively to consideration of the images and processes of composition, these essays challenge longheld notions of why Clemens was so successful and so influential a writer. While that search itself is not new, the varied approaches within this collection highlight markedly inventive ways of reading the life and work of Samuel Clemens. Essays by Michael J. Kiskis, Victor A. Doyno, J. D. Stahl, Jeffrey Steinbrink, Robert Sattelmeyer, Jennifer L. Zaccara, Henry B. Wonham, James S. Leonard, David L. Smith, Ann M. Ryan, Tom Quirk, John Bird, and Laura E. Skandera Trombley / Gary Scharnhorst. [Text drawn from dust jacket.]

Twain, Mark. How Nancy Jackson Married Kate Wilson and Other Tales of Rebellious Girls and Daring Young Women. Ed. John Cooley. University of Nebraska Press, 2001. 255 pages. Paperback. 6 x 9. $16.95. ISBN 0-8032-9442-5. "This special edition brings together the best of Twain's stories about unconventional girls and women, from Eve as she names the animals in Eden to Joan of Arc to the transvestite farce of a young man named Alice from the Wapping district of London." [Reviewed for the Mark Twain Forum on Dec. 12, 2001 by Janice McIntire-Strasburg.]


Zmijewski, David. "Busting His Way to Freedom: Huck Finn's Escape Through Violence." Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South. New series, 6.1 (Spring 1995), published in 1997: 75-98.

--. "The Hornet: Mark Twain's Interpretations of a Perilous Journey." The Hawaiian Journal of History 33 (1999): 55-68.
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Author:Leonard, James S.
Publication:Mark Twain Circular
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jan 1, 2002
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