Mark Twain is one of the best-known figures of American literature. This broad-ranging companion
brings together many of the most respected American and European critics and a number of up-and-coming scholars to provide an overview of Twain, his background, his writings, and his place in American literary history. It places especial emphasis on the ways in which the author's works remain both relevant and important for a twenty-first century audience.
The book approaches Twain through six subject headings: his cultural and historical context; his relationships with other writers; his role in the larger professional world of publishing and performing; studies of his travel writing; studies of his fictional works; and readings of his role as a humorist. A concluding essay evaluates the changing landscape of Twain criticism. This organisation provides a strong basis for the exploration and re-evaluation of Twain's work and cultural importance.