Born: 3 February 1874
Died: 27 July 1946
Birthplace: Allegheny , Pennsylvania
Best known as: Ex-patriate author of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
Gertrude Stein was an American writer known for her role in the experimental arts and letters of Europe in the early part of the 20th century. She traveled in Paris, Vienna and San Francisco as a child, studied philosophy with William James at Radcliffe College and medicine at John Hopkins University. She moved to France in 1904 and found herself in the center of a crowd of artists that included Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Henri Matisse. Stein's prose is often compared to the abstract paintings of the time, daring and, at times, nearly incomprehensible. Although Stein had been writing plays, prose and poetry for years, she was unknown to most readers until the 1933 publication of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, named after her companion of many years. Her other books include Three Lives (1908), Tender Buttons (1914) and The Making of Americans (1925).
Stein was known for using repetition in her writing; her often-quoted line “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose” is from Sacred Emily (1913).
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