The Life and Times of Mark Twain

Nov 3, 2014

Mark Twain was an incredibly prolific writer. He published more than 30 books and pamphlets, and thousands of newspaper and magazine articles.

In the last century, Mark Twain historians and scholars have been prolific too. With all that has been written and said about Mark Twain, what’s left?

Will Thomson performing as Mark Twain in Burlington, Iowa

The new book, Mark Twain's America: A Celebration in Words and Images, digs into the treasure trove of the Library of Congress and gives us access to words and images in a new way. It also puts Twain’s life and work into context like never before. In this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with author Harry Katz and Will Thomson, an Iowan who portrays Twain by performing many of his stories, lectures, and interviews.

The nature of Twain’s stories “is keenly an American phenomenon because of the oral nature of it, the performance nature of it, the comic timing of it,” says Katz.

“His stories are meant to be read aloud so people [can] add their own expression.”