Overview

Matched only by Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, Paris France is a "fresh and sagacious" (The New Yorker) classic of prewar France and its unforgettable literary eminences.

Celebrated for her innovative literary bravura, Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) settled into a bustling Paris at the turn of the twentieth century, never again to return to her native America. While in Paris, she not only surrounded herself with—and tirelessly championed the careers of—a remarkable group of young ...

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Paris France

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Overview

Matched only by Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, Paris France is a "fresh and sagacious" (The New Yorker) classic of prewar France and its unforgettable literary eminences.

Celebrated for her innovative literary bravura, Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) settled into a bustling Paris at the turn of the twentieth century, never again to return to her native America. While in Paris, she not only surrounded herself with—and tirelessly championed the careers of—a remarkable group of young expatriate artists but also solidified herself as "one of the most controversial figures of American letters" (New York Times).

In Paris France (1940)—published here with a new introduction from Adam Gopnik—Stein unites her childhood memories of Paris with her observations about everything from art and war to love and cooking. The result is an unforgettable glimpse into a bygone era, one on the brink of revolutionary change.

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Editorial Reviews

The Nation
“Full of charm, a very personal charm, and humor.”
The Atlantic
“[A] testament of love…[and] affirmation of faith by one who knows the meaning of French civilization and loves France.”
Guardian
“Less a love affair than an enduring marriage with a people and a country.”
Megan O’Grady - Vogue.com
“[Gertrude Stein’s] droll double vision is best appreciated in Paris France. First published in 1940 and freshly reissued with an introduction by Adam Gopnik, it’s a portrait of her beloved Paris pre-occupation, full of bons mots on fashion, food, art, and love—just the thing for a friend dreaming in French.”
Kirkus Reviews
A contrarian expatriate's impressionistic rendering of her adopted country, just before the ax fell. Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) said that writers "have to have two countries, the one where they belong and the one in which they live really." She would know; born in Pennsylvania, she moved to Paris in 1903 and never left. Writing this slim 1940 volume in the looming shadow of the Nazi invasion, Stein comports herself as an American de Tocqueville, seeking to define a country she knew intimately but which never stopped surprising her. France was the locus of "logic and fashion," a barometer of civilization, and the place where 20th-century art and literature were created (often in her own salon, a second home to Hemingway and Picasso, among others). As Adam Gopnik writes in a useful introduction, the book is "a picture of Paris by an American who thinks as Americans think, and we see America in the picture when she thinks she is showing us France." Stein wrestles with her subject, saying what it is by saying what it isn't, offering up observations both astute and sentimental. "Foreigners were not romantic to [the people of France], they were just facts, nothing was sentimental they were just there, and strangely enough it did not make them make the art and literature of the twentieth century but it made them be the inevitable background for it." It's an idealized picture, in many ways; the people "cannot really lie," and "children are never really harshly treated." Stein didn't fully grasp the Nazi threat, but she sensed it. A unique, romantic memoir and a perfect introduction to a unique American voice.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871407085
  • Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 6/18/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 489,280
  • File size: 558 KB

Meet the Author

Gertrude Stein, born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, in 1874, is a renowned American writer, poet, and art collector. The author of more than a dozen books and countless works of criticism, Stein died in France in 1946.

Adam Gopnik, author of Paris to the Moon and The Table Comes First, is a staff writer for The New Yorker.

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