In 27's prologue and five acts, Gordon and Royce present snapshots in the lives of the American avant-garde writer Gertrude Stein and her domestic partner Alice B. Toklas
, along with the parade of painters and writers who frequented their lively Paris salon at 27 rue de Fleurus.
The book is a contemporary homage to The Alice B. Toklas
Cook Book, with its groundbreaking blend of autobiography and cooking instruction, elevating the preparation of meals in the "safe harbor" of home to an art form.
Fisher; the artist-turned-rustic food chronicler Richard Olney; the opportunistic Alexis Lichine, who was raised in Paris but had based his wine business in New York; and Alice B. Toklas
, the longtime partner of Gertrude Stein who was, in a way, the liaison between these five characters and the famous Lost Generation of writers such as F.
Alice B. Toklas
was living in glorious poverty, surrounded by the masterpieces of modern art collected by her partner, Gertrude Stein.
He discusses Stein up to the publication of her memoir The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
, including discussion of Three Lives and her work in Life and TIME, in terms of how same-sex desire in her public persona and work was broadcast and obscured, as well as her growth as a respectable commodity and how Three Lives can be viewed as a series of proto-lesbian portraits.
GERTRUDE STEIN | ALICE B. TOKLAS
| PARIS | BIRTHDAYS | CELEBRATIONS
Read Alice B. Toklas
while a mute swan drifts through reflections on the Avon.
I think Alice B. Toklas
might be getting ahead of herself.
The tuner tracks her two most enduring love affairs--with Alice B. Toklas
We meet Stein as a patriotic American who preferred Paris; a liberated woman whose lesbian relationship with Alice B. Toklas
(1877-1967) conformed to traditional male-female gender roles; a Jew who befriended a Nazi sympathizer; a collector who summarily dropped her proteges; a collaborator craving top billing; an intellectual, avant-garde writer hungering for star status.
Linking the two halves are two redhead women who resemble each other, and uniting the lengthy novel is a web of intertextual references to classic works of fiction like Gulliver's Travels, Great Expectations, "The Purloined Letter," Through the Looking-Glass, and Journey to the Center of the Earth, not to mention a few references to Joyce's Ulysses and a cameo by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
, sitting out the war in the wilds of Australia (a comic episode conveyed in the style of Great Expectations).