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Alice BabetteToklas

Through her writings and recollections, Alice B. Toklas is remembered primarily for who she knew, as the life partner of Gertrude Stein and co-hostess of the famed Parisian salons that included the greatest writers, artists, and musicians of her time. Miserable in her conventional life in San Francisco, Toklas escaped to Paris in 1907, where she met Gertrude Stein, the sister of acquaintances back home. She became Stein’s housekeeper, cook, secretary, friend, and lover, helping publicize her work and serving as gatekeeper for their salons by deciding who was welcome and who was not in a circle that included F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and Henri Matisse. In 1934, she was the subject of Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. While Toklas herself wrote little during Stein’s lifetime, she co-wrote two cookbooks after Stein’s death, filled with reminiscences about their relationship and a now-infamous fudge recipe contributed by an artist friend which Toklas claimed not to have tested before including in the book.

Topics: Food Writing

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Alice Toklas (L) in the home she shared with her famed companion of 39 years, Gertrude Stein, in Man Ray's 1923 work Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in the Atelier at 27 Rue de Fleurus.
Courtesy of the Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Date of Birth
Birthplace

San Francisco, CA
United States

Date of Death
Occupations
Writer, Chef, Secretary

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Alice Babette Toklas." (Viewed on December 13, 2019) <https://qa.jwa.org/people/toklas-alice>.

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