Gertrude Stein is remembered as a novelist, playwright, poet, and, art collector –– and the hostess of a Paris salon that gathered the cream of interwar modernism, including Picasso, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Matisse. A semi-open lesbian, her books include Q.E.D., one of the earliest English-language lesbian novels, and Tender Buttons, a book of poems full of allusion to lesbian sexuality. But in the last years of her life, as a Jew living in Nazi-occupied France, Stein sustained her lifestyle as an art collector and ensured her safety through the protection of powerful Vichy government officials – part of a pattern of involvement in far-right, antisemitic, and fascist politics.
SOURCES:Johnston, Georgia. The Formation of 20th-Century Queer Autobiography: Reading Vita Sackville-West, Virginia Woolf, Hilda Doolittle, and Gertrude Stein. Palgrave Macmillan US, 2007. Malcolm, Janet. “Gertrude Stein’s War.” The New Yorker. June 2, 2003. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/06/02/gertrude-steins-war. Pavloska, Susanna. Modern Primitives: Race and Language in Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and Zora Neale Hurston. New York: Routledge, 1999. Stein, Gertrude. Tender Buttons. Reissue edition. Mineola, N.Y: Dover Publications, 1997. ———. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Reissue edition. New York: Vintage, 1990. Wineapple, Brenda. Sister Brother: Gertrude and Leo Stein. Lincoln: Combined Academic Publishing, 2008.
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