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Tender Buttons hc Hardcover – 1 Apr 2013

1.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle; Reprint edition (1 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452112096
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452112091
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 1.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 875,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"It is hard to imagine ever growing tired of this book. The more time you spend with both Stein's text and Congdon's illustrations the deeper you want to dig." - Imprint

"An absolute joy from cover to cover." - Brain Pickings

"I was instantly enamored with Tender Buttons: Objects-Stein's 1914 collection of avant-garde verses celebrating everyday objects in her signature style of semantic somersaults, brought to fresh life with Lisa Congdon's vibrant illustrations of birds, boxes, cups, clocks, umbrellas, and other ordinary objects made extraordinary." -Brain Pickings

About the Author

Gertrude Stein was a cultural powerhouse of the Modernist movement in Paris in the early 20th century. Her avant-garde writing style has never been approached for sheer audacity and her book The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas remains a perennial seller to this day. She is also known for her extensive art collection and for fostering the talents of Picasso, Matisse, Hemingway and Joyce. San Francisco artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon works in several mediums, including paper collage, screen-printing, ink, textiles, and paint. She has been featured in Bitch, Adorn, Country Living and ReadyMade Magazines and on numerous art, design and culture blogs. She is the author of the Birch Forest flexi journal and several other Chronicle stationery titles.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because i was researching narrative objects - due to the description and being a fan of the illustrators work i thought it would be useful. Sadly not - the text is unreadable (for me) and there isn't a lot of book for your buck - its rather slim. i didn't finish reading the it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flights of Fancy and Delight 21 Dec. 2013
By Story Circle Book Reviews - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ordinary objects become extraordinary when one pays attention to them. Pablo Neruda was a master at it in his odes to common things. And here's Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons: Objects, first published as a "modernist masterpiece" in 1914. This latest version has been reinvigorated with the whimsical illustrations of Lisa Congdon.

When reading Gertrude Stein one can't expect sentences to read with the usual logic or syntax. Each word becomes an object as it's celebrated for sound and rhythm. Opinions of the book through the years have included "a collection of confusing gibberish, and an intentional hoax." It's also been referred to as "a masterpiece of verbal Cubism."

The image on the front cover, a chair, accompanies Stein's "A Chair." Don't expect any chairs in her prose poem, though. Instead you'll find: "a widow in a wise veil," "suitable bedding," "not any sofa," and "a whole barn." If we freed our minds, and relaxed a little, perhaps we too would let "a chair" offer such flights of fancy.

"A Substance in a Cushion" is illustrated by a colorful sash looping into circles which is precisely what the poems do—"linguistic circles" as the back cover states. And there's the chair: "Is there not much more joy in a table and more chairs and very likely roundness and a place to put them."

I found it a delight to see Condon's interpretations or rather, reactions, in her playful illustrations. "A Petticoat" for instance, shows the white, the ink spot, the "rose charm." The young woman has painted toe nails, Congdon's playful addition. "A Box," "Mildred's Umbrella," "A Plate," "A Red Hat," and "A New Cup and Saucer" will have you appreciating the objects around you while seeing them in a new and unconventional light.

Congdon throws in her own surprises with a deer head covered in red flowers for "Red Roses." For "A Shawl," Congdon has drawn tickets (referred to in the prose poem), with words and numbers in various colors that look well worn. I can imagine choosing such tickets and writing my own version of "a plate that has a little bobble."

The book has inspired generations of experimental poetry and with this new release will, no doubt, invoke more exploration of words and objects. Although Tender Buttons was published in 1914, it now has a refreshing new twist that will help it find a whole new appreciative audience.

by Mary Ann Moore
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illustrations lovely, whimsical 18 Nov. 2013
By Ashland, OR resident - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Illustrations are a lovely, delightful accompaniment to Stein's text.
Great addition to my collection of Gertrude Stein's writings.
Wish this artist would consider illustrating the remaining sections of "Tender Buttons".
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtakingly beautiful! 4 April 2013
By D. Millman - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lisa Congdon has hit it out of the ballpark with this little gem of a book. The illustrations are stunning and a perfect match for Stein's whimsical text. Tender Buttons is a true treasure.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 9 Aug. 2016
By Happy Feet - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love it !
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Accessible Classic 9 April 2015
By Alice A. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I never got the appeal of Gertrude Stein until I heard a recording of her reading some of her work, and now I love her! I was excited to find this illustrated version of Tender Buttons. The illustrations are sweet and fun, and I think they make it easier to absorb the writing.
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