Baby Precious Always Shines
Selected Love Notes Between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
By Kay Turner (Editor)
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312198329, 160pp.)
Publication Date: December 1, 1999
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Off and on, during the entire period they were together, Gertrude and Alice wrote each other little love notes. Calling her "wifey" and most often addressing her as "baby precious," Stein scribbled her love for Toklas in quick moments of unselfconscious desire, notes that are small but significant testimonies to her long-lived love. And on occasion, Toklas penned or typed letters back to her "husband."
These notes are brief, mantra-like enticements: tender, beseeching, caring and confessing, funny and game, sexually-charged and sincere, quotidian and queer, but always passionate. Each one marks the pleasures--infrequently, the pains--of married love. When fitted together, the notes create a tantalizing mosaic of a marriage between two women that was built to last.
Kay Turner holds a Ph.D. in Folklore and Anthropology from the University of Texas. Her work spans such subjects as the pop star Madonna, folk images of the Virgin Mary, folk art from recycled materials, lesbian rock bands, lesbian love letters, women's art, and feminism. In addition to writing, Turner works as a curator, graphic designer, and performer/songwriter in an all-woman band.