Pressure’s on for Mark Twain Autobiography Editors

Mark Twain

At Paperblanks we’re no strangers to the works of Mark Twain – so we’re always pleased when he shows up in the news. For all you old-school literature fans there’s a great article in the Los Angeles Times about the second volume of the great writer’s 100-years-on-the-shelf autobiography. For those not in the know: Twain wrote the Autobiography in the last years of his life and then stipulated that it only be published 100 years after his death. The reason: he wanted to spare the feelings of those he wrote about.

The first part of the book, out of a planned three volumes, was published last November. The book has remarkably sold 500,000 copies and has remained a bestseller ever since publication – remarkable because the book’s first editor only expected it to sell 10,000 copies! Given that success, the Los Angeles Times article outlines, the pressure is now on for the release of the next two volumes. The publisher is pushing for a 2012 release for Volume 2 but the book’s editors, the staff of the Mark Twain Papers & Projects Center, refuse to sacrifice quality to meet a deadline. “We are going as fast as we can,” says Robert H. Hirst, the Twain Center‘s general editor. “Maybe it’s not fast enough for this commercial pressure. But I don’t consider it my job to give in to that.” Read the full article here.

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