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Gertrude and Alice Paperback – Bargain Price, December 22, 2009


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Paperback, Bargain Price, December 22, 2009
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Gertrude and Alice + The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book + The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: I. B. Tauris (December 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848851480
  • ASIN: B0057DB42I
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,569,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Twentieth century literature is Gertrude Stein," or at least so thought Gertrude Stein. The sentiment was shared by Alice B. Toklas--her longtime companion--and few others. Stein and Toklas met in 1907 in Paris and famously shared their lives from that day forth, souls in perfect complement--two magnificently eccentric and idiosyncratic women who became a legendary entity. They were photographed by Man Ray and Cecil Beaton, painted and feted by Picasso, and visited by writers such as Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Eliot. Theirs is a fascinating story, and they have found a wonderful and oddly sympathetic chronicler in Diana Souhami, whose book The Trials of Radclyffe Hall met with critical acclaim, and who proves the perfect foil to the "Steins." Her own touch of genius is to barely consider Gertrude's grand oeuvre, sparing the rod to an already spoilt child and freeing her readership from the unpalatable fare she generally served up (by contrast, Alice was a dedicated and talented cook).

Literary success came late to Stein: she was 57 when The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas was published. After Stein's death in 1946, Toklas became the classic devoted author's widow, until her own death, just short of her 90th birthday. She was buried alongside Stein in Paris's Père Lachaise cemetery, though her inscription is on the back of the tombstone, as ever behind her lover. Souhami's two lives, refreshingly stripped of biographical dead wood, positively crackle with high-powered gossip and bristle with bitchy anecdotes, though her laconic touch is never asleep to touching cadences and wonderful absurdities. As a writer, a "literary cubist" who once tried to give up nouns, Stein is more to be admired than respected. As a life force, a mover and shaker, and as a partner to Toklas, she was massively successful. Their couple's life together was their greatest creation, and it's done justice by the talented Souhami's glorious account. Gertrude and Alice would have hated it. --David Vincent, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This dual biography focuses on the enduring relationship (1907-46) between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. Stein, who rose from obscurity to become an international celebrity, is certainly a fascinating character, noted for her inimitable writing, her collection of both modern art and modern artists (including a young Picasso), and her treatment of Toklas as her "wife." The biography is balanced, providing accounts of Stein's and Toklas's lives before their legendary coupling as well as the latter's solitary years after the death of her companion. The author does not take an especially critical approach but instead offers an anecdotal, readable biography suitable for a wide audience. An excellent selection of photographs is dispersed throughout the text, giving one a sense of familiarity with these remarkable women. For informed readers.
- Janice Braun, Oakland, Cal.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This is a well written small book that explains things.
Doro
The introduction itself is amazing and worth buying another copy of the book even if you already have one.
Paris fan
Do read this book -- I am now onto other Stein/Toklas books (most certainly Alice's recipes).
Pierre-Yves Guillo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paris fan on May 7, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow, it's been 20 years since Ms. Souhami wrote this book and fortunately it is again in print with this edition which also includes a new introduction by her. The introduction itself is amazing and worth buying another copy of the book even if you already have one. (You can give your other copy to a friend!)

This is the best dual-bio of these two ladies (and I've read it both in German and English.) The book makes both of them very real, moving them beyond the literary/lesbian icons that they've become in the last 60+ years. Read this in conjunction with James Mellow's CHARMED CIRCLE (you can still find it online through used book dealers or in many 2nd hand bookstores.) and you'll be hooked both on Gertrude and Alice and the artistic era between the two World Wars!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Charles Steiner TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
I read this book in December 1991. What story Ms. Souhami tells in this book is an already familiar tale if you've read "Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas" and are familiar with, say, "Tender Buttons." However, the layers or depths that surface in this book about Gertrude Stein and her wife, Alice B. Toklas with regard to an appreciation for the ordinary domestic habits and ways of daily private life is what Diana Souhami contributes to this story of their lives and still remains as the clearest aftertaste of that which most impressed me while reading this book.

The joy inside the story of these two women's lives in living and being together comes out of this book very clearly. While reading this book, I began to become re-interested in pink sponges for the kitchen sink and sweaters on convenient hangers when needing to go out for something in the cold, say, to a store. I became re-interested in food and in liking liking food. I was re-impressed with a spirit for the clean and the sober, nothing fancy, middle-class, domestic living that was, for Gertrude Stein, everything or nearly everything.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pierre-Yves Guillo on August 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am not a scholar and I am not sure that I would have the patience to read Gertrude "dans le texte". Yet I have a dilettant interest in these women of the first half of this century who seemed to have had a strong influence on the Arts and Litterature (Stein/Toklas, Cones, Sitwells...). I picked up this book by chance off the bookselves of my friends -- Liz and Jeff -- a rainy day by the Delaware River. I not only finished it off but enjoyed it tremenduously. I found the writting interesting, detailled (what a treat to get so many details of that era) and refreshing by its ease of access. Do read this book -- I am now onto other Stein/Toklas books (most certainly Alice's recipes).
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oh my goodness .. if you've been 'enamored' of Gertrude & Alice for years & years, or are just discovering them .. this is THE story of their lives together. Grab this book before it goes out of print again !!
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