Gertrude Stein: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

(1624 words)
  • Karen Leick (Ohio State University)

Gertrude Stein's life-long companion, Alice B. Toklas, is the narrator of this book written by Stein, which describes their life together in Paris from Alice's point of view. Thus, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas is not, in fact, Alice B. Toklas's autobiography; instead it is Gertrude Stein's idea of what such a book might look like. Many readers have remarked that, because the book describes Gertrude Stein more than any other person, the book is actually Stein's autobiography of herself. The Autobiography does, however, begin in an almost conventional way with a very brief chapter about Alice's childhood in San Francisco, California, “Before I Came to Paris”. It is also true that much of the book describes Stein's…

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Leick, Karen. "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2003
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]