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Gertrude Stein

About The Author

The American writer Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) was a major figure in the avant-garde visual arts and literary spheres in the period between World Wars I and II. Stein moved in 1903 to Paris, where she met Alice B. Toklas, who would remain her companion for forty years. Their home in Paris functioned as a salon for many now celebrated writers and artists, who became close acquaintances. Stein is recognized for coining the term the “Lost Generation” to describe American authors living abroad, including Ernest Hemingway and Sherwood Anderson. She and her brother Leo were among the first collectors, patrons, and supporters of many modern and cubist artists, including Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Henri Matisse. Her own work shares the goals of that of her contemporaries––for example, similar to cubist works, her writing shows a proclivity for simplification, repetition, and fragmentation. Revered and feared for both her literary and artistic expertise, Stein has, in no small part, shaped how we understand and appreciate modernism today. Stein’s best-known books include The Making of Americans (1925), How to Write (1931), and The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933), as well as her poetry collection Stanzas in Meditation and Other Poems [1929–1933] (1956). 

Books by Gertrude Stein