THE BOHEMIANS: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature.

Tarnoff, Ben.

ISBN 10: 159420473X / ISBN 13: 9781594204739
Published by New York: Penguin, 2014. dj, 2014
Hardcover
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SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. In 1863, Mark Twain arrived in San Francisco, and there he encountered writers Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Charles Warren Stoddard and Ina Coolbrith and others who formed the group of Bohemians. These pioneering Western writers reinvented American literature by challenging the classicism of the Eastern establishment. INSCRIBED on the half title page ("for Robert, I hope you enjoy the book") and dated in the year of publication. Photographs, notes, index. 319 pp Fine in fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 63715

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Bibliographic Details

Title: THE BOHEMIANS: Mark Twain and the San ...

Publisher: New York: Penguin, 2014. dj

Publication Date: 2014

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

The unforgettable story of the birth of modern America and the western writers who gave voice to its emerging identity

The Bohemians begins in 1860s San Francisco. The Gold Rush has ended; the Civil War threatens to tear apart the country. Far from the front lines, the city at the western edge roars. A global seaport, home to immigrants from five continents, San Francisco has become a complex urban society virtually overnight. The bards of the moment are the Bohemians: a young Mark Twain, fleeing the draft and seeking adventure; literary golden boy Bret Harte; struggling gay poet Charles Warren Stoddard; and beautiful, haunted Ina Coolbrith, poet and protectorate of the group. Ben Tarnoff’s elegant, atmospheric history reveals how these four pioneering western writers would together create a new American literature, unfettered by the heavy European influence that dominated the East.

Twain arrives by stagecoach in San Francisco in 1863 and is fast drunk on champagne, oysters, and the city’s intoxicating energy. He finds that the war has only made California richer: the economy booms, newspapers and magazines thrive, and the dream of transcontinental train travel promises to soon become a reality. Twain and the Bohemians find inspiration in their surroundings: the dark ironies of frontier humor, the extravagant tales told around the campfires, and the youthful irreverence of the new world being formed in the west. The star of the moment is Bret Harte, a rising figure on the national scene and mentor to both Stoddard and Coolbrith. Young and ambitious, Twain and Harte form the Bohemian core. But as Harte’s star ascends—drawing attention from eastern taste makers such as the Atlantic Monthly—Twain flounders, questioning whether he should be a writer at all.
 

The Bohemian moment would continue in Boston, New York, and London, and would achieve immortality in the writings of Mark Twain. San Francisco gave him his education as a writer and helped inspire the astonishing innovations that radically reimagined American literature. At once an intimate portrait of an eclectic, unforgettable group of writers and a history of a cultural revolution in America, The Bohemians reveals how a brief moment on the western frontier changed our country forever.

About the Author:

Ben Tarnoff has written for The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Lapham's Quarterly, and is the author of A Counterfeiter's Paradise: The Wicked Lives and Surprising Adventures of Three Early American Moneymakers. He was born in San Francisco. Visit bentarnoff.com to learn more about The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature, and to watch the book trailer.

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