The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

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Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

'I always wanted to be historical,' Gertrude Stein once quipped. In 1932, Stein began writing the 'autobiography' of her longtime friend and companion, Alice B. Toklas. The book, an immediate bestseller, guaranteed them both a place in history. An account of their life together in Paris before, during, and after World War I, it is full of the atmosphere of the changing life of the city and of idiosyncratic glimpses of such figures as Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Cocteau, Apollinaire, Pound, Eliot, Hemingway, and other luminaries and aspirants who were their close friends. But at the center of the narrative there is always the titanic figure of Gertrude Stein, the self-proclaimed 'first-class genius' who some dismissed as the 'Mother Goose of Montparnasse,' presiding over her celebrated residence-salon-art gallery at 27, rue de Fleurus. William Troy remarked about her: 'It is not flippant to say that if she had not come to exist . . . it would be necessary to invent Miss Gertrude Stein.'

About Gertrude Stein

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Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) was born in Allegheny, PA, of German-Jewish immigrants. She moved to Paris in 1903 and lived in France for the rest of her life. She published Ida: A Novel in 1941, eight years after she became famous for her best-selling Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Logan Esdale teaches at California State University, Long Beach.
Published November 1, 2000 by Modern Library. 342 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Gay & Lesbian, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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In the end, an individual's style is a partial reflection of his times (so autobiography is the child both of literature and history) and, in his selections of autobiographies, Leibowitz spans much of lived America.

Sep 12 1989 | Read Full Review of The Autobiography of Alice B....

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The text is really Gertrude Stein's autobiography, though it gives a delightful background of Alice Toklas, a background of sympathy, cooperation, friendship, and life made up of little things such as cooking and sewing, and making the wheels go round.

Oct 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Autobiography of Alice B....

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