Twayne Publishers was founded in 1949
in New York
to publish translations of works of classic Chinese
literature for an American
audience. As befitting their mission, their name was inspired by the line from Rudyard Kipling
's "The Ballad of East and West
is East and West
is West and never the twain
shall meet". The name Twain was changed to Twayne in deference to the heirs of Mark Twain
, lest anyone think they were attempting to capitalize on the author's name.
They have also published works of literature
both in English
and from numerous countries in translation. They are best known today for their scholarly publications, especially the famed "Authors Series
". Perhaps best described as Cliff's Notes
for professionals, these slim navy blue
hardbacks are an invaluable reference and starting point for research into a particular author, and I can't begin to describe how helpful they've been for me. The series is large - there is a Twayne for probably every author you've ever heard of.