The Schmooze

Mark Twain, “Mishpocha,” and Me

In her previous posts, Erika Dreifus blogged on her upcoming panel at AWP, “Beyond Bagels and Lox,” and the inspiration for “Quiet Americans.” Her blog posts are being featured this week on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog series. For more information on the series, please visit:


The online literary world has been atwitter (please pardon the pun!) about the changes — some are calling it censorship — that appear in a new edition that presents “updated” versions of Mark Twain’s classic novels, “Huckleberry Finn” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” The change that has attracted the most discussion is the new book’s replacement of the word “nigger” with “slave”; a second modification is the substitution of “Indian” for “injun.” (For general summaries, I’ll point you to news items from The New York Times and Publishers Weekly; for a sample of some of the commentaries, I recommend an AOL News column by Tayari Jones, a blog post by The Christian Science Monitor‘s Marjorie Kehe, and the multiple contributions featured within the NYT Room for Debate forum.)

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Mark Twain, “Mishpocha,” and Me

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