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Longtime admirers of Mark Twain are aware of how integral animals were to his work as a writer, from his first stories through his final years, including many pieces that were left unpublished at his death. This beautiful volume, illustrated with 30 new images by master engraver Barry Moser, gathers writings from the full span of Mark Twain’s career and elucidates his special attachment to and regard for animals. What may surprise even longtime readers and fans is that Twain was an early and ardent animal welfare advocate, the most prominent American of his day to take up that cause. Edited and selected by Shelley Fisher Fishkin, who has also supplied an introduction and afterword, Mark Twain’s Book of Animals includes stories that are familiar along with those that are appearing in print for the first time.
Shelley Fisher Fishkin is Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities, Professor of English and Director of American Studies at Stanford University. She is the author of many books, including Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture and Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African-American Voices. She edited Is He Dead?, a new play by Mark Twain, and is also the editor of the 29-volume Oxford Mark Twain. Barry Moser is one of America's foremost wood engravers and is the proprietor of the Pennyroyal Press. Among the books he has illustrated are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Moby Dick, or The Whale, all from UC Press. The Mark Twain Project is housed within the Mark Twain Papers, the world's largest archive of primary materials by this major American writer.
"For those unaware—as I was until I read this book—that Mark Twain was one of America's early animal advocates, Shelley Fisher Fishkin's collection of his writings on animals will come as a revelation. Many of these pieces are as fresh and lively as when they were first written, and it's wonderful to have them gathered in one place." —Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation and The Life You Can Save
“A truly exhilarating work. Mark Twain's animal-friendly views would not be out of place today, and indeed, in certain respects, Twain is still ahead of us: claiming, correctly, that there are certain degraded practices that only humans inflict on one another and upon other animals. Fishkin has done a splendid job: I cannot remember reading something so consistently excellent."—Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of When Elephants Weep and The Face on Your Plate
"Shelley Fisher Fishkin has given us the lifelong arc of the great man's antic, hilarious, and subtly profound explorations of the animal world, and she's guided us through it with her own trademark wit and acumen. Dogged if she hasn't." —Ron Powers, author of Dangerous Water: A Biography of the Boy Who Became Mark Twain and Mark Twain: A Life
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