Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) was an American author who acted as an informal leader of expatriate and European writers and artists in Paris during the first half of the early twentieth century. Stein spent much her youth in Oakland, California. She moved to Europe with her brother after leaving medical school at Johns Hopkins, stopping in London before settling in Paris. In Paris, Stein met Alice B. Toklas, who would become her lifelong companion. The two women associated with various writers and artists Stein called the “Lost Generation.” Stein published her first book in 1909. Among Stein’s best-known works is The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933), which Stein wrote in Toklas’s voice. Stein experimented with sentence structure and language in her work, and many of her writings were deeply influenced by Cubism. Her salon hosted the likes of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Ernest Hemingway, and many others, and her work and associations made her a renowned and influential figure among the Paris avant-garde.

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