Huck Finn and his Progeny
Many writers and critics agree with Hemingway’s claim that “all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.” But can we define The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as America’s literary Declaration of Independence? This Master Class will examine the way Twain’s novel introduces new characters, language, landscape, and even a new morality into American fiction. We will also consider why this quintessentially American novel, despite its enduring universal appeal, has generated controversy from the moment of its birth to the present day.
Azar Nafisi is the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, a compassionate and harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her students. Her memoir spent 117 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. More recently, she published The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books, which is part memoir, part polemic, and part close reading of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Babbit, and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Nafisi is currently Professor of Aesthetics, Culture, and Literature at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.