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These days Gertrude Stein is remembered mainly for the notorious "autobiography" she wrote with her lover and long-time companion, Alice B. Toklas. Yet The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas is only a sliver of that remarkable woman's literary output. Courted during the '20s, dismissed by critics in the '30s, rehabilitated in the '50s, Stein's reputation has ebbed and flowed with every new generation of readers. Now, however, the Library of America has given her its official stamp of approval as a Great American Writer by dedicating its 99th and 100th volumes to collecting together her voluminous works. Volume 1 covers Stein's work between the years 1903 and 1932 and includes a fascinating mix of previously unpublished prose (her 1903 novel Q.E.D., theater work such as Four Saints in Three Acts, and of course, her poetry, experimental prose, lectures, and essays). For Gertrude Stein aficionados, this collection is a welcome and long-awaited event.
The Library of America series reached its 100th volume with the publication of this magnificent Stein duo, which contain Three Lives and The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas among an amalgam of her fiction, poetry, plays, memoirs, and lectures. A sumptuous feast. (Classic Returns, LJ 3/15/98)
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