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Mark Twain, the World, and Me, Mark Twain, the World, and Me, 0817359672, 0-8173-5967-2, 978-0-8173-5967-6, 9780817359676, , , Mark Twain, the World, and Me, 0817392831, 0-8173-9283-1, 978-0-8173-9283-3, 9780817392833,

Mark Twain, the World, and Me
Following the Equator, Then and Now
Susan K. Harris

Quality Paper
2020. 184 pp.
7 B&W figures / 1 map
Price:  $29.95 t
E Book
2020. 184 pp.
7 B&W figures / 1 map
Price:  $29.95 d

Winner of the Elizabeth Agee Prize in American Literature

A scholar accompanies Twain on his journey around the world

In Mark Twain, the World, and Me: Following the Equator, Then and Now, Susan K. Harris follows Twain’s last lecture tour as he wound his way through the British Empire in 1895–1896. Deftly blending history, biography, literary criticism, reportage, and travel memoir, Harris gives readers a unique take on one of America’s most widely studied writers.

Structured as a series of interlocking essays written in the first person, this book draws on Twain’s insights into the histories and cultures of Australia, India, and South Africa and weaves them into timely reflections on the legacies of those countries today. Harris offers meditations on what Twain’s travels mean for her as a scholar, a white woman, a Jewish American, a wife, and a mother. By treating topics as varied as colonial rule, the clash between indigenous and settler communities, racial and sexual “inbetweenness,” and species decimation, Harris reveals how the world we know grew out of the colonial world Twain encountered. Her essays explore issues of identity that still trouble us today: respecting race and gender, preserving nature, honoring indigenous peoples, and respecting religious differences.
Susan K. Harris is distinguished professor emerita at the University of Kansas. She is author of God’s Arbiters: Americans and the Philippines, 1898–1902; The Cultural Work of the Late Nineteenth Century Hostess: Annie Adams Fields and Mary Gladstone Drew; The Courtship of Olivia Langdon and Mark Twain; 19th-Century American Women’s Novels: Interpretive Strategies; and Mark Twain’s Escape from Time: A Study of Patterns and Images.
“In Mark Twain, the World, and Me, Susan Harris shows great skill in describing both the pull and the personal stakes that brought her into such a sustained, fruitful engagement with Mark Twain—a cultural icon who seems to radiate ‘unlikeness’ with regard to her own roots and upbringing. There’s no self-indulgence here; instead, we see the high-risk adventure that informs the best literary scholarship.”
—Bruce Michelson, author of Printer’s Devil: Mark Twain and the American Publishing Revolution
“This enormously compelling memoir of Harris’s attempt to retrace Twain’s travels during his 1895–1986 round-the-world lecture tour is more than simply an engaging work of creative nonfiction, it might just be the best book-length work of scholarship yet written on Twain’s Following the Equator.”
—Joseph Csicsila, coauthor of Heretical Fictions: Religion in the Literature of Mark Twain
winner of the Elizabeth Agee Prize in American literary studies
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