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Everybody's Autobiography Paperback – January 2, 2004
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From Library Journal
This marks the pioneer modernist's second title to be recently reprinted ( Geography and Plays , Classic Returns, LJ 1/94), indicating perhaps a Stein renaissance. Stein knew everybody who was anybody, and in this title, she spills the dope on them all in one of the more easily readable of her many works. For public and academic collections.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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You must read "The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas" first to get the gist of this book. And after you've read "...Alice B Toklas," you don't need to read "Everybody's Autobiography."
The voice is clearly Stein's -- and an important voice, full of ideas and wordplay and backing-onto-itself and repetition and variation and images and humor and unexpected turns, and one of the few women (and a lesbian!) to make onto the required reading list for modernist literature. It's slightly more mature than "... Alice B Toklas," but not as much fun. And you also have to know that famous names that Stein casually drops over and over throughout "Everybody's Autobiography" and their critical standing and her biases and her friend's feuds and who-knew-who to get the full meaning of it.
There's plenty of good stuff about American in late 1930's but some of it is just a little bit nasty. ("...Alice B. Toklas" was published in 1933 and prompted Stein to return to American after many years, which resulted in "Everybody's Autobiography.") I prefer the sparkling tone and the light comedy and the clever observations of "... Alice B Toklas." This is for academics and completists only.