Mark Twain sure knows how to attract attention to himself even after 100 years. He stipulated that his memoirs be published 100 years after his death. We are the lucky recipients of his newly wit and bitter pen that promises to shed new light on the famous writer. Under lock and key by The University of California and only seen by few will be read by all. What skeletons are to be found in Mark Twain’s closet? The memoirs will be published as a trilogy.
“I’ve struck it!” Mark Twain wrote in a 1904 letter to a friend. “And I will give it away–to you. You will never know how much enjoyment you have lost until you get to dictating your autobiography.” Thus, after dozens of false starts and hundreds of pages, Twain embarked on his “Final (and Right) Plan” for telling the story of his life. His innovative notion–to “talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment”—meant that his thoughts could range freely. The strict instruction that these texts remain unpublished for 100 years meant that when they came out, he would be “dead, and unaware, and indifferent” and therefore free to speak his “whole frank mind.” The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death. In celebration of this important milestone and in honor of the cherished tradition of publishing Mark Twain’s works, UC Press is proud to offer for the first time Mark Twain’s uncensored autobiography in its entirety and exactly as he left it. This major literary event brings to readers, admirers, and scholars the first of three essential volumes and presents Mark Twain’s authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave as he intended.”