Cheer up: Even Gertrude Stein faced rejection

gertrude stein rejection letterBY HEATHER HOGAN

It’s not fun to be rejected. Can’t get any companies to bite on your job pitch? Not fun. Can’t get that girl you’re crushing on to text you back? Not fun. Can’t get your parents to accept your sexuality? Not fun. Can’t get the love of your life to love you back? Not fun. But it’s always a comfort to know that some of the world’s most famous and successful lesbians have dealt with their share of rejection too. Like ol’ Gertrude Stein, for example. Painter, poet, novelist, art collector, playwright, eschewer of linear literature and conventional narrative wisdom. She’s one of the most celebrated minds of 19th and 20th centuries. But in 1912, a distinguished London publisher sent her the most scathing rejection letter I’ve ever seen. Not only did he tell her that her manuscript wouldn’t sell; he mocked her experimental style of writing mercilessly.


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