Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice

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Melbourne University Publish, 2007 - Americans - 229 pages
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Two Lives is Janet Malcolm's stunning portrait of a legendary couple: Gertrude Stein, the modernist master, and Alice B Toklas, the 'worker bee' who ministered to Stein's needs throughout their forty-year expatriate 'marriage'. As Malcolm pursues the truth of the couple's charmed life in a village in Vichy France her subject becomes the larger question of biographical truth. 'The instability of human knowledge is one of our few certainties,' she writes. The portrait of their relationship that emerges is unexpectedly charged. The two world wars Stein and Toklas lived through together are paralleled by the private war that went on between them. This war, as Malcolm learned, sometimes flared into bitter combat. Janet Malcolm is at her finest in this extraordinary work of literary biography and investigative journalism.
 

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Malcolm (The Journalist and the Murderer ) presents a masterful glimpse into the lives of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, whose 40-year relationship is one of the most intriguing of the 20th ... Read full review

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