What’s New

"The Dream of the Great American Novel" with author Lawrence Buell

Wednesday, April 30, 7:00 p.m. at the Harriett Beecher Stowe Center

In conjunction with the Harriett Beecher Stowe Center, The Mark Twain House & Museum is pleased to bring you an evening with Lawrence Buell, author of "The Dream of the Great American"

The idea of "the great American novel" continues to thrive almost as vigorously as in its nineteenth-century heyday, defying 150 years of attempts to dismiss it as amateurish or obsolete. In this landmark book, the first in many years to take in the whole sweep of national fiction, Lawrence Buell reanimates this supposedly antiquated idea, demonstrating that its history is a key to the dynamics of national literature and national identity itself.

The dream of the G.A.N., as Henry James nicknamed it, crystallized soon after the Civil War. In fresh, in-depth readings of selected contenders from the 1850s onward in conversation with hundreds of other novels, Buell delineates four "scripts" for G.A.N. candidates. One, illustrated by The Scarlet Letter, is the adaptation of the novel's story-line by later writers, often in ways that are contrary to the original author's own design. Other aspirants, including The Great Gatsby and Invisible Man, engage the American Dream of remarkable transformation from humble origins. A third script, seen in Uncle Tom's Cabin and Beloved, is the family saga that grapples with racial and other social divisions. Finally,mega-novels from Moby-Dick to Gravity's Rainbow feature assemblages of characters who dramatize in microcosm the promise and pitfalls of democracy.

The canvas of the great American novel is in constant motion, reflecting revolutions in fictional fashion, the changing face of authorship, and the inseparability of high culture from popular. As Buell reveals, the elusive G.A.N. showcases the myth of the United States as a nation perpetually under construction.

Lawrence Buell (born 1939) is Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature Emeritus at Harvard University, specialist on antebellum American literature and a pioneer of Ecocriticism. He is the 2007 recipient of the Jay Hubbell Medal for Lifetime Achievement in American Literary studies, the "highest professional award that the American Literature Section of the MLA can give."[1] He won the 2003 Warren-Brooks Award for outstanding literary criticism for his 2003 book on Ralph Waldo Emerson. His Writing for an Endangered World won the 2001 John G. Cawelti Award for the best book in the field of American Culture Studies. He retired from Harvard in 2011.

The event is free, but registration is encouraged at 860-522-9258, Ext. 317.

Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours

Friday, April 25, and Saturday, April 26; 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 p.m.

We reprise our popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours for some spring fun. The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.

On these tours participants will hear all these creepy tales -- and learn about Mark Twain's own interest in the supernatural.

Filled with haunted history, dark tales and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing.

They sell out fast, so be sure to call soon to make your reservations!

Please call (860) 280-3130 for more information & ticketing.


Due to overwhelming demand from the members of The Mark Twain House & Museum, the Garrison Keillor event has now sold out.

Writers' Weekend Schedule Released

The 3rd Annual Writers’ Weekend: Official Schedule

Questions? Email Director of Writing Programs Julia Pistell at Julia.pistell@marktwainhouse.org.

This schedule is subject to change. The best way to make sure you see everything is to register for the whole weekend!

Friday, April 25th

6:00 pm: Welcome Reception

7:00 pm: Keynote Conversation with Meg Wolitzer

Meg Wolitzer's novels include The Interestings; The Uncoupling; The Ten-Year Nap; The Position; and The Wife. She is also the author of a novel for young readers, The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman. Wolitzer's short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and has won a Pushcart Prize. Woltizer has been reviewed with raves in the The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, the Atlantic, People, and many more prestigious publications. She is a New York Times bestselling author. She will speak on the subject of her writing life and her works.

8:00 pm: Book Signing with Meg Woltizer

Saturday, April 26th & Sunday, April 27th

ALL DAY: Buy the books of your favorite authors and get them signed after each session

10:00 am - 4:oo pm: Workshops

Also: a star-studded panel on Literary Criticism, Playwriting, and a Literary Death Match! For the full schedule visit http://writingatthemarktwainhouse.blogspot.com/.

Tickets available at http://bit.ly/1ewUKc8

Launched: An Expanded Writing Program!

The Mark Twain House is thrilled to announce an expanded set of programming for writers of all ages and experiences. Upcoming events include:

- Monthly writing workshops, beginning on March 22nd with "Playwriting with Sarah Moon"

- In-depth, challenging 6- week classes on Fiction, Memoir and Storytelling (with Nancy Antle, Mary Ann Tirone-Smith, and Tom Lee), beginning March 19th

- A unique opportunity to have several uninterrupted hours to write in Twain's Library-- a never-before-offered opportunity, on March 23rd

- The 3rd Annual Writers' Weekend, featuring Keynote Speaker Meg Wolitzer, from April 25th - 27th

- A writing contest to be announced soon!

For more information please peruse our Event Page-- or, write to julia.pistell@marktwainhouse.org. Julia will answer any questions you may have about any of our programming.

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Check out our new $35 Twainiac membership category.

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