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Article

Two Lives

Posted on

Two Lives

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
66849
publisher:
Yale University Press
genre:
Biography, Nonfiction

We gave it an A

In this brief, fascinating portrait, Janet Malcolm explores the mysterious 40-year relationship between modernist novelist/poet Gertrude Stein (stout, brilliant, egotistical, ”powerfully sexy”) and her lover, cookbook author Alice B. Toklas (”dour ugly crone to Stein’s handsome, playful princess”). Part biography and part literary criticism — Malcolm openly struggles to appreciate Stein’s opaque ”masterpieces,” never quite succeeding — Two Lives also incorporates her amusing journalistic forays into the small, contentious, and decidedly crazy world of contemporary Stein scholarship. The resulting volume is both hard to classify and hard to put down. A

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