NEW YORK — It's never too late: Mark Twain is back on the best-seller lists.
Pre-orders for the first of three planned volumes of his autobiography, released in full upon the centennial of Twain's death, have for the past few days placed the book in the top five of Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com. It is outpacing new works by Ken Follett, John Grisham and Jon Stewart.
"The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1" comes out Nov. 15 from the University of California Press, which already has increased the first printing from 50,000 copies to 75,000, the publisher said Tuesday. The book is a highly unusual hit, not only because it was written so long ago, but because the actual text is an assembly of remembrances, commentaries, newspaper clippings and journal entries. Twain had worked on his memoir for years and never finished it.
Excerpts have appeared over the past several decades, but Twain's strong opinions on current affairs and other matters were left out, at his request. He had said that it was best to wait 100 year after his death for the whole book to be released.