Mark Twain

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Bill Murray Wins Comedy Prize, Hands It to Audience

He's this year's Mark Twain winner

(Newser) - Bill Murray accepted a bust of Mark Twain for his lifetime achievement in comedy—and immediately handed it to the audience to be passed around. Murray was honored Sunday night at the Kennedy Center by more than a dozen of his co-stars and collaborators, including David Letterman, Sigourney Weaver, and... More »

Eddie Murphy Receives Top US Humor Prize

SNL alumni turn out for Mark Twain humor prize event

(Newser) - Eddie Murphy is trading places with Mark Twain. The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is honoring the comedian, film star, producer, and director Sunday evening with the nation's top prize for humor. A lineup of funny men and women including Dave Chappelle, George Lopez, Kathy Griffin, Arsenio Hall,... More »

Rare Mark Twain Writings Capture a Dark Period

Dispatches reveal author's reporting days at SF newspaper, despondent thoughts

(Newser) - Before he was penning the adventures of Tom and Huck, Mark Twain worked for a San Francisco newspaper and wasn't so different from a lot of 21st-century journalists struggling in an evolving industry: He was drinking, in debt, and not sure where his career would take him. So indicate... More »

Nevada Cove Won't Be Named for 'Racist' Mark Twain

Washoe tribe objects to plan for Lake Tahoe cove

(Newser) - The Nevada State Board on Geographic Names was considering naming a Lake Tahoe cove for Mark Twain—until it heard from the Washoe Tribe, whose ancestral homeland includes the lake, that Twain held "racist views" about Native Americans. As the head of the tribe's cultural resource department pointed... More »

Ellen Honored as Gay Trailblazer

DeGeneres receives top honor in humor

(Newser) - Some of the nation's top comedians hailed Ellen DeGeneres as a trailblazer at the Kennedy Center last night as she received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the highest US humor prize:
  • "For a lot of people, Ellen is their only homosexual friend. She's there in
... More »

Ellen DeGeneres Gets Top Humor Prize Tonight

Will be awarded Mark Twain Prize in DC

(Newser) - Jane Lynch and John Leguizamo are joining a lineup that includes Jimmy Kimmel and Kristin Chenoweth to honor Ellen DeGeneres with the nation's top humor prize in Washington tonight. The Kennedy Center is awarding DeGeneres the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which honors Mark Twain's tradition of... More »

Will Ferrell Awarded Twain Humor Prize

...before dropping it on the floor

(Newser) - Last year, it was Tina Fey ; this year, Will Ferrell rocked the Kennedy Center as he won the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor last night. The star-studded gala saw speeches from celebrities as diverse as Ben Stiller, Ed Asner, Molly Shannon, and Gwen Ifill, the Washington Post reports.... More »

Book Banned in 1906 Back on Library's Shelf

Mark Twain's 'Eve's Diary' contained risque images

(Newser) - Massachusetts' Charlton Public Library is now one title richer, thanks to one man's detective work. Richard Whitehead uncovered a century-old controversy when doing some research for his new position as one of the library's trustees: a book banned in 1906 because it contained naked images. That weren't... More »

MLK, Twain Misquotes Go Viral After bin Laden Death

Facebook, Twitter users swap bogus quotes

(Newser) - A seemingly apt Martin Luther King Jr. comment quoted by people responding to the killing of Osama bin Laden quickly went viral via Facebook and Twitter. Just one problem: it wasn't accurate. The quote beginning "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not... More »

The New Literary Celebrity: Mark Twain Editors

Volume one of his autobiography was a hit ... and now the pressure is on

(Newser) - When Harriet Elinor Smith was recognized by a fellow BART passenger who had seen her on TV, she was shocked, to say the least. After all, Smith spends the majority of her time not rocking the airwaves, but holed up in a UC Berkeley office, surrounded by centuries-old documents. She's... More »

Wiping N-Word From Huck Finn Just Doesn't Work

Cord Jefferson outlines three reasons why a replacement doesn't work

(Newser) - A new, school-friendly edition of Huck Finn is set to be published sans its 219 instances of the word "nigger." Writing for Good , Cord Jefferson calls the censorship "silly," and argues that inserting "slave" as a "one-size-fits-all remedy" for "nigger" actually doesn't work.... More »

New Huck Finn Edition Will Remove 'N-Word'

Twain scholar says it's necessary to keep the book available to students

(Newser) - A Twain scholar in Alabama is taking a controversial approach to making Huckleberry Finn available to more students: Removing the 219 instances of the word "nigger" in a new volume to be released by NewSouth Books. In its place will be the word "slave," reports Publishers Weekly... More »

Today's Tom Sawyer Would Be Medicated

He and Huck would be diagnosed with all kinds of disorders

(Newser) - Reread Huckleberry Finn today, and just try to keep track of the disorders Huck and Tom Sawyer would be diagnosed with as kids today: oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and conduct disorder right off the bat, writes Anne Applebaum in the Washington Post . It's "weirdly reassuring,"... More »

100 Years Later, Mark Twain Finally Tells All

Per his dying wish, autobiography to be published this year

(Newser) - A century after his death, Mark Twain remains a master at stirring up interest in his books: It was the author's dying wish that his lengthy and revealing autobiography not be published until 100 years after his death—which happens to be this year. The 5,000 pages he left... More »

50 Famous Authors Other Famous Authors Hate

Jane Austen gets clobbered by Mark Twain, Charlotte Bronte

(Newser) - Just because you're in the club, doesn't mean you like all of its members. To wit, Examiner.com lists 50 famous authors that other famous authors really don't like...in their own, well-penned words:
  1. Mark Twain on Jane Austen: "Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to
... More »

Unpublished Mark Twain Trove Goes Public

Collection bound for auction block in June

(Newser) - Mark Twain died 100 years ago today and Sotheby's auction house is marking the occasion with a preview of an unpublished stash of his writings to be sold off in June. Twain scholars say the gem of the collection is "A Family Sketch," a 64-page tribute to Olivia,... More »

Literary Video Games We'd Like to Play

Hey, if Dante's Inferno worked, why not Moby Dick?

(Newser) - Now that EA’s successfully turned Dante’s Inferno into a bloody beat-em-up action game, the guys at Wired decided to dream up some other literary classics begging to be transformed into games. There picks:
  • The Metamorphosis: In this 8-bit classic, Gregor Samsa morphs into Bug Mode and scampers around
... More »

Most Hypocritical Book Bannings

(Newser) - Banning a book is a move laden with ironies that can make the banner seem dull-witted in the long run. For National Banned Books Week, 11Points.com lists "the most hypocritical, ignorant, and, based on the content of the books, ironic" bans:
  • Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury: The sci-fi
... More »

Where to Find Real America

(Newser) - Travel writer Gary McKechnie helps USA Today round up some of the best places to get a taste of old-fashioned Americana:
  • Little League World Series, Williamsport, Pa.: The end-of-August tradition is free.
  • Mark Twain America, Hannibal, Mo.: Be like Tom Sawyer and go on a guided cave tour.
  • All-American Soap
... More »

A Christmas Story Raconteur Spoke to Misfit Generation

Jean Shepherd made growing pains a little easier in the '50s and '60s" musician Fagen

(Newser) - Listening to Jean Shepherd, the radio raconteur whose writings inspired A Christmas Story (and who did the voice-over), “I learned about social observation and human types,” musician Donald Fagen writes for Slate. For “the true horror of helpless childhood,” and a realism that countered the feel-good,... More »

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