Introduction by Frank Conroy
Commentary by William Dean Howells, "Athenaeum, The Illustrated London News, "and" "Hartford "Christian Secretary"
This irresistible tale of the adventures of two friends growing up in frontier America is one of Mark Twain's most popular novels. The farcical, colorful, and poignant escapades of Tom and his friend Huckleberry Finn brilliantly depict the humor and pathos of growing up on the geographic and cultural rim of nineteenth-century America. Originally intended for children, the book transcends genre in its magical depiction of innocence and possibility, and is now regarded as one of Twain's masterpieces. As Frank Conroy observes in his Introduction, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer " has become a sacred text within the body of American literature.
This version, which reproduces the Mark Twain Project edition, is the approved text of the Center for Scholarly Editions of the Modern Language Association.
Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide.
About the Author
Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was an American humorist and writer, who is best known for his enduring novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which has been called the Great American Novel. Raised in Hannibal, Missouri, Twain held a variety of jobs including typesetter, riverboat pilot, and miner before achieving nationwide attention for his work as a journalist with The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. He earned critical and popular praise for his wit and enjoyed a successful career as a public speaker in addition to his writing. Twain s works were remarkable for his ability to capture colloquial speech, although his adherence to the vernacular of the time has resulted in the suppression of his works by schools in modern times. Twain s birth in 1835 coincided with a visit by Halley s Comet, and Twain predicted, accurately, that he would go out with it as well, dying the day following the comet s return in 1910.
FRANK CONROY is the director of the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa. He is also an accomplished jazz pianist.
"Twain had a greater effect than any other writer on the evolution of American prose."