A New Mark Twain Book is Coming Out Next Month. No, Really.

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If you've ever wished to own a first edition Mark Twain book, your dreams are about to come true! Believe it or not, a brand new, never-before-published Twain title will be released next month courtesy of Random House. The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine started as 16 pages of handwritten notes from Twain, written in 1879, discovered in 2011, and then edited/expanded by author Philip Stead this year. The book is also illustrated by the author's wife, Erin Stead (scroll all the way down to see some of the amazing illustrations).

The gist of the book and its origin, per the publisher:

In a hotel in Paris one evening in 1879, Mark Twain sat with his young daughters, who begged their father for a story. Twain began telling them the tale of Johnny, a poor boy in possession of some magical seeds. Later, Twain would jot down some rough notes about the story, but the tale was left unfinished… until now.

Plucked from the Mark Twain archive at the University of California at Berkeley, Twain’s notes now form the foundation of a fairy tale picked up over a century later. With only Twain’s fragmentary script and a story that stops partway as his guide, author Philip Stead has written a tale that imagines what might have been if Twain had fully realized this work.

Johnny, forlorn and alone except for his pet chicken, meets a kind woman who gives him seeds that change his fortune, allowing him to speak with animals and sending him on a quest to rescue a stolen prince. In the face of a bullying tyrant king, Johnny and his animal friends come to understand that generosity, empathy, and quiet courage are gifts more precious in this world than power and gold.

Illuminated by Erin Stead’s graceful, humorous, and achingly poignant artwork, this is a story that reaches through time and brings us a new book from America’s most legendary writer, envisioned by two of today’s most important names in children’s literature.
— Random House

As excited as I am to read it? Grab your first edition today (ships 9/26/17):