Not that Hemingway was correct, but he did write in 1935: "All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn;" unless we are to interpret the adjective 'modern' as 'unadorned.' But Hemingway's remark somehow points to the importance of Mark Twain's breezy, fresh, and straight-forward style. Huckleberry Finn is a poor child whose only family is "Pap" -his abusive drunk father. Huck runs away, and meets Jim, a slave, who is also running away. So, here we have from the very beginning of the novel, two heavy topics: child abuse and slavery. Although Mark Twain has been criticized for his stereotypical presentation Jim, he -a white author- imbues Jim with much humanity in an era in which slaves were considered sub-human. Had any other writer dare do such a thing? Dis anyone else besides Jane Austen write about the slave trade? It took courage to deal with such themes. But Mark Twain also threw other ethical dilemmas into the fray: It is right to obey wrong laws? Should the individual suffer to preserve society? Hence the universal importance of the book. To do honor to the original version, my editorial corrections are minimal. The language -including the dialects- have been left untouched, as well as terms today deemed offensive.