Mark Twain’s most famous book is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. “Hemingway said that all American fiction comes from Huckleberry Finn. That’s true, in the sense that Twain invented a way of looking at the American experience and putting it into fiction. I think almost every American writer has to acknowledge that.” Robert McCrum.
“Twain always had a lot of schemes, but his major one was a typesetting machine. That was actually a great idea, and if he had put more money in and had more time it probably would have panned out and become profitable. But it didn’t, he lost almost all of his money and went on this lecture tour. His is an enormous trip. He travels all around the world by steamship on a lecture tour, largely around the British Empire – stopping off in India, Australia, South Africa.” Paul Theroux who included Twain’s Following the Equator in the best travel books.
Books by Mark Twain
Interviews where books by Mark Twain were recommended
Travel is a leap in the dark, says Paul Theroux and one that will leave you a different person at the other end. He recommends five travel books that inspired him, from Mark Twain at sea to VS Naipaul in India
In the novels of the 19th century, the United States comes alive with all its contradictions and complications. Nathan Wolff, a professor of English at Tufts and author of Not Quite Hope and Other Political Emotions in the Gilded Age, introduces us to his picks of the best 19th-century American novels, including two works of historical fiction and a memoir that influenced the novel form.
Albeit an object of satire and overreach, the ‘Great American Novel’ remains a vital concept in American literature, encouraging writers to capture the essence of national culture and history, argues Lawrence Buell, Professor of American Literature Emeritus at Harvard University. He talks us through the origins of the phrase and nominates five novels as contenders.
Journalist Robert McCrum spent two years selecting the best novels ever written in English. Here he narrows it down to just five: a perfect introduction to the best fiction the English language has to offer.
Who were Adam and Eve, really? Over many centuries, the origin story has undergone countless transformations. The Pulitzer Prize-winner and Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt chooses five books that explore the history of Adam and Eve, and tells us why the world isn’t ready to leave the narrative of Eden behind