From the Publisher:
Mark Twain, who was often photographed with a cigar, once remarked that he came into the world looking for a light. In this new biography, published on the centennial of the writer's death, Jerome Loving focuses on Mark Twain the humorist and the quipster and sheds new light on the wit, pathos, and tragedy of the author of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In brisk and compelling fashion, Loving follows Twain from Hannibal to Hawaii to the Holy Land, showing how the Southerner transformed himself into a Westerner and finally a New Englander. This re-examination of Twain's life is informed by newly discovered archival materials which provide the most complex view of man and writer to date. Loving's critical assessment reaches from Twain's earliest efforts at making readers laugh to the final and awful irony of that laughter as seen in "The Mysterious Stranger" texts and in their author's personal tragedies. In brief chapters that mirror an episodic life, Loving takes us on an exhilarating ride and deepens our readings of books we thought we knew, giving us an insightful new life of Mark Twain for the twenty-first century.