The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas is a fictionalized account written by American writer Gertrude Stein about her life with Alice B. Toklas, the author-narrator of the book. Stein essentially tells about her life, a great deal about her artistic philosophy and theories of writing, although she adopts the character and manner of her long-time companion and secretary, Alice B. Toklas, along with the point of view of the latter.
As the narrator relates, Stein and Toklas were 'in the heart of an art movement.' The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas catalogues the many famous artists and intellectuals with whom they came into contact. Before 1914, Paris was the art capital of the world where Matisse, Picasso, and Apolinaire to name a few all knew Stein and with whom she made friends with.
The narrator notes how many wives of geniuses she has had to sit with and entertain, while Stein, a genius herself, was with their husbands. Among them were the wives of Braque, Gris, Picasso, Matisse, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ford Maddox Ford. The book also references the very busy life of Stein and Toklas sometime in 1919 to 1932, when they were in constant contact with prominent artists and writers such as Jean Cocteau, Marcel Duchamp, Exra Pound, Edith Sitwell and Jacques Lipschitz.
Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas visited England at the home of Alfred North Whitehead's where they further met intellectuals such as Bertrand Russell and Lytton Strachey. They also talked about wartime involvement with the American fund for the French Wounded, when they visited French hospitals and were decorated by the French government.
The book is articulate and insightful especially for a reader interested with the array of great philosophers, writers, and artists within the circle of Stein - great thinkers all.