On Feb. 18, 1885, Mark Twain‘s novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published in the United States. How many of us have gone along on Huck and Jim’s trip down the Mississippi? How many of us have studied this novel for a class? It deals with serious topics including slavery and racism, and it has a long history of being criticized, challenged, and even banned (see the American Library Association’s lists of the most banned/challenged books for 2000-2009 and 1990-1999).
Andersen Library has several copies of the novel (even online and as recorded audio on compact discs), as well as other titles by Mark Twain. You also can search HALCat (Harold Andersen Library’s catalog) to find books about Mark Twain and his writings, such as Mark Twain: Strange & wonderful (2nd-floor New Arrivals Island, PS1331 .P76 2011), a UW-Whitewater student’s master’s thesis called Mark Twain, Huck Finn and racism (3rd-floor Main Collection, PS1305 .M37), and The dramatic unity of “Huckleberry Finn” (3rd-floor Main Collection, PS1305 .C3). In addition, there are many, many articles in scholarly journals and reference works about this novel and other works by Mark Twain. Search Library databases to find articles such as “Huck, Jim, and American Racial Discourse” (In Smith, D. L., 2010, Critical Insights: Mark Twain, Salem Press, pp.214-234), “Huck, Twain, and the Freedman’s Shackles: Struggling with Huckleberry Finn Today” (Atlantis, 2006, vol.28:no.2, pp.29-43), and “Huckleberry Finn and Moral Motivation” (Philosophy and Literature, 2010, vol.34:no.1, pp.).
You may know that UW-Whitewater is reading some Mark Twain for its fourth annual participation in the “Big Read.” There’s been a noon-hour discussion group meeting on Wednesdays in Andersen Library; RSVP for that was in December. But you can still get a ticket to see “Hal Holbrook – Mark Twain Tonight!” on April 21st at the Young Auditorium.