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New Mark Twain book hits store shelves

| 21 April 2009

Video: Bob Hirst on "Who is Mark Twain"

Bob Hirst, general editor of UC Berkeley's Mark Twain Papers & Project, tells what has kept him so interested in the project during his more than 40 years' research on the largest collection of Mark Twain papers. (3 min.)

What's the story behind the title of the new book, "Who is Mark Twain?" (1 min.)

The genius of Mark Twain revealed in a short reading from "Huckleberry Finn" (1:42 min.)

(Videos produced by Roxanne Makasdjian, UC Berkeley Media Relations)

A collection of 24 previously unpublished essays and stories by Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain hits bookstore shelves today (Tuesday, April 21) in the form of "Who is Mark Twain?"

Times may have changed in many ways since the prolific 19th-century author's days steering a riverboat down the Mississippi, and since his literary heyday with a boy named Huck Finn. But the general editor of the Mark Twain Papers & Project at UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library says Clemens is very much still worth reading.

Why? "Because he's a genius," says Bob Hirst, who selected the various pieces in the book published by HarperStudio and available in hardback, audio and e-book formats. (More details are online from Harper Studio and UC Berkeley.

Hirst recently took time to talk about the continuing allure of the iconic American writer who tackled everything from race and religion to jumping frogs and jingoism.