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Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living: A Handbook for the Damned Human Race


Edited by Lin Salamo, Victor Fischer and Michael B. Frank

Book Description
Irreverent, charming, eminently quotable, this handbook-an eccentric etiquette guide for the human race-contains sixty-nine aphorisms, anecdotes, whimsical suggestions, maxims, and cautionary tales from Mark Twain's private and published writings. It dispenses advice and reflections on family life and public manners; opinions on topics such as dress, health, food, and childrearing and safety; and more specialized tips, such as those for dealing with annoying salesmen and burglars. Culled from Twain's personal letters, autobiographical writings, speeches, novels, and sketches, these pieces are delightfully fresh, witty, startlingly relevant, and bursting with Twain's characteristic ebullience for life. They also remind us exactly how Mark Twain came to be the most distinctive and well-known American literary voice in the world. These texts, some of them new or out of print for decades, have been selected and meticulously prepared by the editors at the Mark Twain Project. Illustrations: 36 b/w photographs
 From the Back Cover
"This wonderful book illustrates precisely why we can never have enough Twain. His humor is timeless, his wisdom about all things without equal."
-Ken Burns 

"Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living is a real discovery as well as a delight. It brings us fresh material from an old friend, and rediscovers great moments from the long shelves of his published writings. It's the best, most reliable collection of Mark Twain as social observer, moralist, and comic genius."
-Bruce Michelson, author of Mark Twain on the Loose and Literary Wit

 "A delightful display of Mark Twain's wit and humor loosely tied together under the guise of an advice book. Containing some things old, some things new, some things borrowed (in parody), but nothing blue, this charming collection of old favorites and new releases will guide you through life's exigencies in fine spirits, if not in fine form. Twain's advice occasionally touches the sublime, but only in the form of the ridiculous. This is the perfect gift book for any aficionado of Mark Twain, any connoisseur of the risible, or any stuffed-shirt who needs to lighten up."
-Gregg Camfield, author of The Oxford Companion to Mark Twain

"Twain came to understand himself as 'a moralist in disguise,' and this collection reveals that truth clearly, without jettisoning any of his humor. If you are wrestling with how to advance stimulating dinner conversation, what to do with unwanted magazine subscriptions, how to deal with the 'odious flummery' of fashion, or whether or not to bring your dog to the next funeral, Twain is here to offer his gentle guidance. Old chestnuts and surprising obscurities are provided in a refreshed context through the rich and illuminating annotations of the ever brilliant editorial team at the Mark Twain Papers."
-John Boyer, executive director of The Mark Twain House and Museum

“This book serves up an elegant taste of Mark Twain's love for the food of the American South, spiced generously with his celebrated wit. Food lovers and humorists alike will revel in the timeless wisdom gathered here.”
-Nathalie Dupree, television host and author of Nathalie Dupree's Southern Memories

About the Author
Lin Salamo, Victor Fischer, and Michael B. Frank are editors at the Mark Twain Project of The Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley.


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