Gertrude and Alice

I.B. Tauris · 304 pp · 1992

Nominated for a Lambda Literary Award


Gertrude and Alice is available now from

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Tokas were the talk of pre-war Paris. Photographed by Cecil Beaton and Man Ray, painted by Picasso and written about by Hemingway, they were at the heart of Parisian cultural and literary life.

Alice, convinced that Gertrude was a genius, cooked for her, typed her manuscripts and fought to obtain the fame she was convinced Gertrude was due. Alice said Gertrude was the happiest person she had ever known, and was besotted with her for the many years they were together. They were indomitable, charismatic, and wildly eccentric, driving around in ‘Auntie’, their Ford, with Basket, their cherished poodle.

Originally published in 1992, Gertrude and Alice was reissued last year by I.B. Tauris and is available from all good independent booksellers.


An excerpt from Gertrude and Alice is available here. Also available as PDF.


Wonderfully entertaining. Not many biographies can make you laugh out loud. A real treat.

Time Out

Perfect: deadpan, brief and witty.

The Independent

Souhami hits a true note in her ebullient introduction and sustains it throughout. Her narrative is terse and exact and her book, the story of two serious ladies, is very funny indeed.

Lucy Hughes-Hallett · Sunday Times

Like a good novelist Diana Souhami makes the characters in her book, major and minor, come alive. Hers is an exemplary biography in its scrupulous respect and affection for her subjects.

Cyra McFadden · San Francisco Examiner

An antidote for all those laundry lists they call biographies nowadays. Wonderfully diverting.


Souhami is deeply sympathetic to Gertrude and Alice. She is also witty and unsentimental.

Victoria Glendinning · The Times

A brilliant and witty chronicle. Not only star-studded but light-filled.

John Richardson, author of A Life of Picasso

Diana Souhami redefines and amplifies a remarkable relationship and a rich period of modern art. Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas created a world and Souhami takes us on an engrossing and illuminating journey through it.

May Sarton

Diana Souhami’s irresistibly charming Gertrude and Alice (1992) wins by a neck in a hectic field.

Philip Hensher · The Daily Telegraph