The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Mark Twain, America's First Rock Star?

Washington, DC

Photo used courtesy of The Mark Twain House and Museum.

Yesterday, in 1835, a star was born. A rock star that is. Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens) is a wonderfully complex American figure whose fame / notoriety is second to none. But it's not often we hear he was America's first "rock star." Listen to biographer Ron Powers and Twain scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin explore yet another enthralling fact about this multi-faceted writer and satirist. Former NEA Chair Dana Gioia sets up the moment.

[audio:http://bigreadblog.arts.gov//audio/MarkTwainAmerica'sFirstRockStar.mp3]

[transcript]

To hear the full half-hour audio guide about The Adventures of Tom Sawyer---also featuring filmmaker Ken Burns, writer Anne Fadiman, and actor Sam Elliott, visit The Big Read website.

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