Gertrude Stein Stein: Writings 1903-1932

ISBN 13: 9781883011406

Stein: Writings 1903-1932

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9781883011406: Stein: Writings 1903-1932
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The first in a two-volume set of works combines fiction with the author's personal experiences in Paris and includes the play Four Saints in Three Acts and Lifting Belly, in which she documents her wonderful relationship with Alice B. Toklas.

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Review:

These days Gertrude Stein is remembered mainly for the notorious "autobiography" she wrote with her lover and long-time companion, Alice B. Toklas. Yet The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas is only a sliver of that remarkable woman's literary output. Courted during the '20s, dismissed by critics in the '30s, rehabilitated in the '50s, Stein's reputation has ebbed and flowed with every new generation of readers. Now, however, the Library of America has given her its official stamp of approval as a Great American Writer by dedicating its 99th and 100th volumes to collecting together her voluminous works. Volume 1 covers Stein's work between the years 1903 and 1932 and includes a fascinating mix of previously unpublished prose (her 1903 novel Q.E.D., theater work such as Four Saints in Three Acts, and of course, her poetry, experimental prose, lectures, and essays). For Gertrude Stein aficionados, this collection is a welcome and long-awaited event.

About the Author:

Gertrude Stein was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, on February 3, 1874, to an affluent Jewish family, spent her early childhood in Vienna and Paris, and later grew up in Oakland, California. At Radcliffe College she studied under William James, who remained her lifelong friend, and then went to Johns Hopkins to study medicine. Abandoning her studies, she moved to Paris with her brother Leo in 1903. At 27 rue de Fleurus, Gertrude Stein lived with Alice B. Toklas, who would remain her companion for forty years. Not only was she an innovator in literature and a supporter of modern poetry and art, she was the friend and mentor of those who visited her at her now-famous home: Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jean Cocteau, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sherwood Anderson, and Guillaume Appollinaire. Her first important book was Three Lives (1909), then Tender Buttons (1914), followed by her magnum opus, The Making of Americans (1925), and the book which became a huge popular success, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933). Just before her death at the age of 72 on July 27, 1946, she asked Alice Toklas from her hospital bed, “What is the answer?” Getting no answer, she then asked, “In that case, what is the question?”

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