Introduction by George Saunders
Commentary by Thomas Perry Sergeant, Bernard DeVoto, Clifton Fadiman, T. S. Eliot, and Leo Marx
All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called "Huckleberry Finn," Ernest Hemingway wrote. It's the best book we ve had. A complex masterpiece that spawned controversy right from the start (it was banished from the Concord library shelves in 1885), it is at heart a compelling adventure story. Huck, in flight from his murderous father, and Jim, in flight from slavery, pilot their raft through treacherous waters, surviving a crash with a steamboat and betrayal by rogues. As Norman Mailer has said, The mark of how good "Huckleberry Finn" has to be is that one can compare it to a number of our best modern American novels and it stands up page for page.
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.
George Saunders is the author of several books and writes regularly for "The New Yorker," "Harper's," and "GQ," He is the recipient of multiple National Magazine Awards. He teaches at Syracuse University. Author websites: inpersuasionnation.com, reignofphil.com, georgesaundersland.com.