Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946) was an American writer of novels, poetry and plays that eschewed the narrative, linear, and temporal conventions of 19th-century literature, and a fervent collector of Modernist art. She was born in West Allegheny (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania, raised in Oakland, California, and moved to Paris in 1903, making France her home for the remainder of her life.
For some forty years, the Stein home at 27 Rue de Fleurus on the Left Bank of Paris was a renowned Saturday evening gathering place for both expatriate American artists and writers and others noteworthy in the world of vanguard arts and letters, most notably Pablo Picasso. Entrée into the Stein salon was a sought-after validation, and Stein became combination mentor, critic, and guru to those who gathered around her, including Ernest Hemingway, who described the salon in A Moveable Feast.
In 1933, Stein published a kind of memoir of her Paris years, ''The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas'', written in the voice of Toklas, her life partner. The book became a literary bestseller and vaulted Stein from the relative obscurity of cult literary figure into the light of mainstream attention.