Magazine Reconsiders Twain Story

Mark Twain. author AP

The Atlantic Monthly has bought the rights to publish a Mark Twain story it rejected when the author pitched it in 1876.

"We're having the Atlantic change its mind, as it were, after 125 years," said Patrick Martin, the lawyer who negotiated the sale for the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, which owned the rights.

The sale price of the story, A Murder, a Mystery and a Marriage, has not been disclosed.

The short story was written in 1876, the year Twain began Huckleberry Finn. It was conceived by Twain as part of a friendly contest in which seven or eight writers would take a shot at writing a story that would fit a particular outline. Twain was the only writer to finish the project.

The story will appear in the Atlantic Monthly's June 15 issue. It will also be published as a hardcover book by W.W. Norton & Co. in September.

The library is also planning a writing competition involving the story. Before the Twain story is published, entrants will be given the first part of the tale and will be asked to finish it.


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