Three Lives

Publication history

Stein's partner Alice B. Toklas helped prepare the proofs of Three Lives.[5] With its uncoventional style, the book had difficulty finding a publisher. A friend of her brother Leo's, writer Hutchins Hapgood, tried to help find one, though he was pessimistic of the book's chances. Its first rejection came from Pitts Duffield of Duffield & Co., who recognized the book's French influence, but passed on its "too literary" and realistic qualities, which he believed would find few contemporary readers. Literary agent Flora Holly and Stein's friend Mabel Weeks were also unable to interest a publisher. After a year of rejections, another friend, Mary Bookstaver, found the vanity publisher Grafton Press of New York; Stein had the firm print Three Lives at her own expense for $660. Stein's first published book, the 500 copies of its first printing left the presses July 30, 1909.[12]

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