90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Twain's Twilight Years

Author Samuel Longhorne Clemens, better known under his pen name, Mark Twain, is seen in an undated photo. Twain died April 21, 1910. (AP)

The work of Mark Twain that lives forever in the world’s mind is of steamboats and boys, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer and life on the Mississippi. 

The image of Mark Twain that lingers is older Twain. White hair. Wild brows. Big cigars. And lots of attitude. 

That Mark Twain was the most famous American, worldwide. 

Before he died, one hundred years ago this month – and, yes, when Haley’s Comet came by – Twain’s humor had darkened. His life had grown complicated. 

This Hour, On Point: the late work and late life of the great Mark Twain.

Guests:

Laura Skandera Trombley, president of Pitzer College and a renowned Twain scholar. Her new book is “Mark Twain’s Other Woman: The Hidden Story of His Final Years.”  You can read an excerpt here. Her previous books on Twain include “Mark Twain in the Company of Women.” For more information on  Trombley’s work on Twain, go to www.lauratrombley.com.

Tom Quirk, professor of English at the University of Missouri. He’s author of “Mark Twain and Human Nature” and “Mark Twain: A Study of the Short Fiction.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 17, 2014
Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 16, 2014
A still from Amanda Brown's documentary film, "Black Heirlooms." (Courtesy the FIlmmaker)

The documentary “Black Heirlooms,” tells the story of how inheritances, even humble ones, can tear families apart. We talk to the director.

 
Dec 16, 2014
Supermodel Beverly Johnson. (Courtesy Beverly Johnson)

Supermodel Beverly Johnson is the latest woman to accuse Bill Cosby. She joins us.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment
 
Quinn Sullivan, LIVE In Our Studio
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

More »
Comment