Gertrude Stein writes her autobiography from the point of view of her life partner, Alice B. Toklas. Her story is replete with vignettes of dinners with Picasso and Matisse, travels with Hemingway, and clashes of personality among the group of singular artistes. I think this is one of Stein's more readable works, and it is absorbing to watch her explore her own life through the eyes of the more submissive Toklas.— Annie
An illustrated edition of Gertrude Stein's most well-known work, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, bursting with the bright, sophisticated, and fanciful images of artist Maira Kalman
Considered one of the richest and most irreverent biographies in history, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas was written by Gertrude Stein in the style and voice of her life partner, Alice B. Toklas. Published in 1933 and narrated by Alice, this autobiography begins with her initial move to France in 1907, the day after which she meets Gertrude, sparking a relationship that lasts for nearly four decades. Recounting the vibrant and literary life the two make for themselves among the Parisian avant-garde, Alice opens the doors to the prominent salons they held in their home at rue de Fleurus, hosting fellow expatriate American writers such as Ernest Hemingway, T. S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound as well as artists Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Man Ray, and speaks of the twilight of the Paris belle epoque.
In this edition, the wildly talented Maira Kalman brings this glittering Parisian world to life, and celebrates Stein and Toklas in vivid color. Her whimsical and inimitable illustrations complement the wit and humor of Stein’s narrative, and elevate the exciting intrigues of these famous women and their friends. Inviting readers to experience this book in a completely new way, the illustrated edition of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas will prompt a contemporary reading of this cherished and singular classic.
About the Author
Maira Kalman is an illustrator, author, and designer. She is the author of Beloved Dog, And the Pursuit of Happiness and The Principles of Uncertainty, and the illustrator and co-author of Cake. She is the illustrator of Michael Pollan's Food Rules and the bestselling edition of William Strunk and E. B. White's The Elements of Style. Kalman’s work is represented by Julie Saul Projects in Manhattan.
Gertrude Stein was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, on February 3, 1874. 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 40 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 Apollinaire. Her body of work include Three Lives, Tender Buttons, The Making of Americans, and The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.
“Kalman’s signature artwork, color-drenched and featuring heavy black line, is as individual as Stein’s writing . . . Toss out your old editions, this is the one you’ll want to own.” —Library Journal, starred review
“THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALICE B. TOKLAS will have you itching to hop a plane to CDG . . . Stein captures both the voice of her partner, Alice Toklas, and the shimmering energy of the time. Kalman brings that world further to life with expressive illustrations of the couple, their home and travels, and contemporaries like Matisse and Cezanne. Her work has a wry, witty quality that lends a sense of immediacy to words written nearly a century ago. It’s just the thing to tote on your next vacation-need we say where to?” - Travel & Leisure
“Whimsical illustrations meet quirky prose in this tag-team reinvention of the iconic 1933 book. An award-winning New Yorker illustrator, designer and author, Kalman takes on the challenge of illustrating Stein's iconic ‘auto’ biography of her longtime companion Toklas . . . Kalman's 70-plus color illustrations, rendered in her distinctive playful and Fauve-esque style, perfectly reflect the artistic and intellectual world of Paris in the 1920s and '30s . . . A sparkling, imaginative rendition of a literary classic.” – Kirkus, starred review