mark twain

"Grant & Twain" At PS21

Sep 24, 2018

"Grant & Twain," a new play by playwright Elizabeth Diggs will have its debut at PS21Chatham this Thursday, September 27th. The play tells the story of a remarkable friendship.

At age 62, Ulysses Grant is bankrupted in a Wall Street swindle. His only hope to restore his honor and save his family is an offer to write his memoirs of the war. News of Grant’s calamity brings his friend Mark Twain to his side. Twain is infuriated by the terms offered by the prestigious publisher.

He makes an audacious proposal: he himself will publish Grant’s book and make it the biggest bestseller in American history. When Grant finally agrees, he is faced with a double enemy: he is diagnosed with terminal cancer and writes in a race with death, and he discovers an enemy close to home.

To tell us more, we welcome playwright Elizabeth Diggs and actor Michael Sean McGuiness who is playing Ulysses Grant in the production.

At the end of Mark Twain’s masterwork, Huckleberry Finn declares that he plans to “light out for the Territory” to avoid getting “sivilized.”

For 130-plus years, readers have been left guessing about the adventures in the West. But now, Huck is back, thanks to prize-winning novelist Robert Coover. His novel is Huck Out West.

  Mark Twain, the highest-paid writer in America in 1894, was also one of the nation’s worst investors.

The publishing company Twain owned was failing; his investment in a typesetting device was bleeding red ink. After losing hundreds of thousands of dollars back when a beer cost a nickel, he found himself neck-deep in debt. His heiress wife, Livy, took the setback hard - but Twain vowed to Livy he would pay back every penny. And so, just when the fifty-nine-year-old, bushy-browed icon imagined that he would be settling into literary lionhood, telling jokes at gilded dinners, he forced himself to mount the “platform” again, embarking on a round-the-world stand-up comedy tour. No author had ever done that. He cherry-picked his best stories—such as stealing his first watermelon and buying a bucking bronco—and spun them into a ninety-minute performance. Twain trekked across the American West and onward by ship to the faraway lands of Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, India, Ceylon, and South Africa.

Richard Zacks' new book is Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain's Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World Comedy Tour

  Mark Zwonitzer is an author and award-winning documentary filmmaker. 

His new book The Statesman and the Storyteller, is a dual biography covering the last ten years of the lives of friends and contemporaries, writer Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) and statesman John Hay (who served as secretary of state under presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt), The Statesman and the Storyteller not only provides an intimate look into the daily lives of these men but also creates an elucidating portrait of the United States on the verge of emerging as a world power.

wikipedia

A land conservation organization has been given easements on forested property surrounding the upstate New York farm where author Mark Twain wrote some of his most famous works.

  In Huck Finn’s America, award-winning biographer Andrew Levy shows how modern readers have been misunderstanding Huckleberry Finn for decades.

Twain’s masterpiece, which still sells tens of thousands of copies each year and is taught more than any other American classic, is often discussed either as a carefree adventure story for children or a serious novel about race relations, yet Levy argues convincingly it is neither.

  

Mark Twain’s complete, uncensored Autobiography was an instant bestseller when the first volume was published in 2010, on the centennial of the author’s death, as he requested.

Co-Editor, Benjamin Griffin joins us to talk about the eagerly-awaited Volume 2, which delves deeper into Mark Twain’s life, uncovering the many roles he played in his private and public worlds.