Jenni Fagan says:
Discovering the work of Gertrude Stein felt like finding a missing space on my bookshelf had been filled by something I was looking for. I am also influenced by some of her poetry. I love her deliberate use of repetition and how she creates sketches of characters as in her Portrait of Picasso.
I love to read about her life in Paris and the salon she shared with her wife Alice B. Toklas. It is a place I would have loved to visit. They had such strong relationships with artists, poets, thinkers and writers.
In Luckenbooth we find Gertrude Stein is mentioned, as one of the writers that my characters in the 1910 decade go to visit, in fact they meet Picasso and dare slur that he isn’t even painting at the time, he’s off in Florence having a love affair, of course it is a fictionalised world that visits real ones and in turn alters them, heightens and disturbs reality.
Gertrude Stein was writing through surrealism and she experimentated in form and technique. Her wife Alice is the narrator in this book, drawing in their lives and realities, she talks of Leo Stein, Cezanne, Matisse, Vollard and Guillaime Appollinaire and lots of Cubist artists and arguing with people like T.S. Eliot. I love the feel of these characters and how the form of autobiography is enhanced, not hindered, by reality.