Featuring the brilliantly drawn Roxanna, a mulatto slave who suffers dire consequences after switching her infant son with her master's baby, and the clever Pudd'nhead Wilson, an ostracized small-town lawyer, Twain's darkly comic masterpiece is a provocative exploration of slavery and miscegenation. Leslie A. Fiedler described the novel as "half melodramatic detective story, half bleak tragedy," noting that "morally, it is one of the most honest books in our literature." "Those Extraordinary Twins," the slapstick story that evolved into Pudd'nhead Wilson, provides a fascinating view of the author's process.
The text for this Modern Library Paperback Classic was set from the 1894 first American edition.
About the Author
Mark Twain was born in Hannibal, Missouri, in 1835. An adventurous young man, Twain traveled around the United States. He worked as a Mississippi riverboat pilot, a miner, and a reporter. When Twain wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in 1872, most books presented boys as purely good or evil characters. Twain wanted his boy hero, Tom Sawyer, to be a real boy, so he based the book on his own boyhood adventures in Missouri.
Ron Powers, a Pulitzer Prize-winning and Emmy Award-winning writer and critic, has studied and written about Mark Twain for many years. He is the author of ten books, including "Dangerous Water: A Biography of the Boy Who Became Mark Twain, " and the coauthor of two, including the #1 "New York Times" bestseller "Flags of Our Fathers." He lives in Middlebury, Vermont.
“Mark Twain, in his presentation of Negroes as human beings, stands head and shoulders above the other Southern writers of his times.”—Langston Hughes