Today is Mark Twain’s 176th birthday, and it’s a pleasure to remember this lively, witty American writer. He is considered by many to be the father of American literature. He brought us wonderful works like “The Innocents Abroad,” “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” and of course, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” I can still remember reading the whitewashing scene from “Tom Sawyer” as a little girl and laughing uproariously at “Pudd’nhead Wilson.”
He was born in Missouri as Samuel Langhorn Clemens, occasionally went by Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass, and eventually became known as Mark Twain. His birthplace featured prominently in his novels, and he spent several years as a river pilot after working as a printer’s apprentice. He then traveled extensively and wrote for newspapers before beginning his career as an author. His influence on American writing cannot be overemphasized. Indeed, Ernest Hemingway said “all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.” His works discussed slavery, class relations, Reconstruction and the Industrial Revolution. The library has several of his books, so in honor of one of our country’s most preeminent authors, come and check one out today!