Review by Choice Review
Quirk's helpful three-part volume points to Twain's use of humorous techniques while tracing his literary development. It supplements and updates James Wilson's important A Reader's Guide to the Short Stories of Mark Twain (CH, Oct'87), adding fresh contextual insights to Twain's career as a writer of short fiction. In addition, Quirk (Univ. of Missouri) provides two short anthologies of essays, the first group by Twain on writing, the other by notable critics Louis Budd, Walter Blair, Greg Camfield, Don Florence, Susan Harris, and William Dean Howells discussing Twain's reputation in short fiction. In part 1, Quirk offers useful discussions of often-neglected Twain material, overviewing stories Twain wrote from 1863 until his death in 1910. Wisely emphasizing the more significant stories, Quirk traces Twain's evolving sense of moral and social responsibility, calling attention to Twain's shifts in writing as he became more aware of his audience's expectations. Useful for both general and specialist readers, this collection will serve high school students through faculty because it brings together analysis and pertinent essays in one study guide. W. Britton; Grayson County College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Descriptive content provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service.