Janet Malcolm: Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice

Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice - Janet Malcolm

Although this is a very well-written book, I found it dry. Malcolm has done a wonderful job piecing together the evidence to form the narrative of Stein and Toklas' lives. I loved the story of how Stein defaced her poem <i>Stanzas</i> by crossing out every instance of the word "may" and replacing them all with "can", even when the change made nonsense of the sentences, because she was erasing any allusion to May Bookstaver in order to appease Toklas's jealousy. But, in the end, if Stein was a warm person, it rarely shows in her writing or in this book. She seems clever but still so distant.

Just a case of the wrong book at the wrong time, I guess. If one were primarily interested in Stein's writing, I can see how this book would be a lovely companion to her work.