by Lucy Daniel
Reaktion Books. 220 pages, $16.95
HER OBSESSION with language and her exasperating experiments with the power and limits of words made Gertrude Stein’s writings a subject of critics’ disdain and rivals’ parodies. It was not until the publication of her best-known (and most readable) work, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, in 1934, that Stein’s life eclipsed her creative output as her true legacy.
In Gertrude Stein, the latest story of her life, author Lucy Daniel considers the ways in which Stein consciously constructed her public self, and in turn how the public came to construct an Idea of Gertrude Stein.