Academic journal article Mark Twain Journal

The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature

Academic journal article Mark Twain Journal

The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature

Article excerpt

BEN TARNOFF, The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature. New York: Penguin Press, 2014. 319 pp. Index. Cloth.

Students of Mark Twain acknowledge the crucial tutelage that Mark Twain benefited from after his arrival on the Pacific Coast in 1863. Ben TarnofF brings to life the vibrant company in which Twain moved and the various styles with which he experimented as he firmed up his sense of his identity as a writer. Although TarnofF mentions a dozen authors who were making names for themselves in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time, he concentrates on the lives of three in particular-Bret Fiarte, whose literary fame quickly became meteoric; Charles Warren Stoddard, a struggling gay poet; and Ina Coolbrith, who facilitated the rise of others but found her own career restricted by family responsibilities. …

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