Here is Gertrude Stein's famous work -- one of the richest and most irreverent biographies ever written. 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. .,." The record of nearly thirty years of life in a fantastically changing Paris and elsewhere -- a life passed in the most stimulating and important society." LOUIS BROMFIELD "Largely to amuse herself, Gertrude Stein ] wrote "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas" in 1932... using as a sounding board her companion Miss Toklas, who had been with her for twenty-five years. It has been said that the writing takes on very much Miss Toklas' conversational style, and while this is true the style is still a variant of Miss Stein's conversation style. ...She usually insisted that writing is an entirely different thing from talking, and it is part of the miracle of this little scheme of objectification that she could by way of imitating Miss
Stein's most famous work; one of the richest and most irreverent biographies ever written.
A fascinating insight into the vibrant culture of Modernism, and the rich artistic world of Paris' Left Bank, Gertrude Stein's "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas" includes an introduction by Thomas Fensch in "Penguin Modern Classics". For Gertrude Stein and her wife Alice B. Toklas, life in Paris was based upon the rue de Fleurus and the Saturday evenings and 'it was like a kaleidoscope slowly turning'. Picasso was there with 'his high whinnying Spanish giggle', as were Cezanne and Matisse, Hemingway and Fitzgerald. As Toklas put it - 'The geniuses came and talked to Gertrude Stein and the wives sat with me'. A light-hearted entertainment, this is in fact Gertrude Stein's own autobiography and a roll-call of all the extraordinary painters and writers she met between 1903 and 1932. Audacious, sardonic and characteristically self-confident, this is a definitive account by American in Paris. Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), a writer of experimental prose, is one of the original American Modernists. Born in Pennsylvania, she lived most of her life in Paris with her partner, Alice B. Toklas.
Experimental books like "Three Lives" (1909), "Tender Buttons" (1914), and "The Making of Americans" (1925) established her reputation as an avant-garde stylist, and "The Autobiography of Alice B". Toklas made her an international celebrity. As an experimental writer she has been an inspiration to countless novelists and poets in our century, from Ernest Hemingway and Edith Sitwell in her own time to Jack Kerouac and Robert Duncan in ours. If you enjoyed "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas", you might like Virginia Woolf's "Orlando", also available in "Penguin Modern Classics". "Buttonholes the reader with its informality, its unhurried rhythms, deadpan humour and acerbic remarks". (Frances Spalding, "Sunday Times").