A welcome new edition of Stein’s witty novel of fame and identity, inspired by the celebrity life of the Duchess of Windsor
Gertrude Stein wanted Ida to be known in two ways: as a novel about a woman in the age of celebrity culture and as a text with its own story to tell. With the publication of this workshop edition of Ida, we have the novel exactly as it was published in 1941, and we also have the full record of its creation. Logan Esdale offers informative critical commentary and judiciously selected archival materials to illuminate Stein’s experience of authorship from the novel’s beginning in early summer 1937, through the various drafts and negotiations with her publisher, to the reviews that greeted the book’s publication. Stein’s careful and systematic preservation of all Ida-related materials for her archive at the Yale University Library was a conscious decision, and an invitation for us to study the complexity of her creative process.
"Step by difficult step Logan Esdale slowly entered Stein's domain where she alone had made decisions working on Ida, composing her novel and figuring out what to do with Ida and how. Esdale's book now becomes a handbook, a new approach to Stein scholarship, and authorship, based on Stein's own archive. He wanted to discover for himself and to show us how she worked as she did."—Ulla Dydo, author of Gertrude Stein: The Language That Rises: 1923-1934 ~Ulla Dydo
"For those brave souls who undertake to read and teach that strangest of short novels in British and American literature, Gertrude Stein's Ida, Logan Esdale's edition is the indispensable text. It is a major contribution to the scholarship and the interpretation of Gertrude Stein's literary art. Esdale brilliantly sets forth the history and the world of Ida, its universe of discourse. If only I'd had Esdale's text when I was supposing what Ida said."—Neil Schmitz, State University of New York at Buffalo ~Neil Schmitz
"Esdale's innovative approach results in an enriching contribution to Stein scholarship. . . . Highly recommended."—L. Simon, Choice~L. Simon, Choice
~Boston Review, Christopher Schmidt
“With Yale’s re-release…of [Gertrude Stein’s] novel Ida, a new era for Stein scholarship has been inaugurated.”—Christopher Schmidt, Boston Review