In August 1869, a thirty-three-year-old journalist named Samuel Clemens - or as he was later known, Mark Twain - moved to Buffalo, New York. At the time, he had high hopes of establishing himself as a successful newspaper editor of the Buffalo Morning Express in the thriving, up-and-coming metropolis at the end of the Erie Canal. In this engaging portrait of the famous author at a formative and important juncture of his life, Thomas J. Reigstad-a Twain scholar-details the domestic, social, and professional experiences of Mark Twain while he lived in Buffalo. Based on years of researching historical archives, combing through microfilm of the Express when Twain was editor, and even interviewing descendants of Buffalonians who knew Twain, Reigstad has uncovered a wealth of fascinating information. The book draws a vivid portrait of Twain's work environment at the Express. Colorful anecdotes about his colleagues and his quirky work habits, along with original Twain stories and illustrations not previously reprinted, give readers a new understanding of Twain's commitment to full-time newspaper work.
Full of fascinating vignettes from the illustrious writer's life, as well as rare photographs, Scribblin' for a Livin' will appeal to Mark Twain enthusiasts, students and scholars of American literature, and anyone with an interest in the history of Western New York.
“[H]as to be seen as the great book some of us have quite literally waited all our lives for the definitive book about Mark Twain’s Buffalo residence.”
—The Buffalo News
"Provides an in-depth look at Twain in Buffalo... [Proves] that brief though his time here was, it provides plenty of material for a story worth telling."
“A large piece of the biographical puzzle about Mark Twain has been put into place.”
—Dr. Alan Gribben, editor, Mark Twain Journal
“Carefully researched and evocatively written, this study gives Mark Twain’s often-dismissed and maligned Buffalo years the sort of affectionate attention they deserve. It should quickly become the definitive source for this brief, volatile, and pivotal period in Twain’s development as a writer and public personality.”
—Mark Woodhouse, the Mark Twain Archives, Elmira College
“A rich and meticulously detailed chronicle of the place where Mark Twain spent the first years of his marriage and developed his iconic literary voice. A highly enjoyable read.”
—Laura Skandera Trombley, Pitzer College, author of Mark Twain’s Other Woman
“Reigstad reveals Twain’s activities and social connections in Buffalo in a readable narrative, fully documenting his exhaustive research.”
—David H. Fears, author of Mark Twain Day by Day