CALIFORNIA’S DAUGHTER: GERTRUDE ATHERTON AND HER TIMES (Stanford University Press, 1991)
This is the first biography of Gertrude Atherton (1857-1948), a San Francisco native who lived in London, New York and Munich and became one of the most famous, outspoken and successful novelists of her time. It emphasizes her place in the emergent debate on the place of women in society and her friendships with such figures as Ambrose Bierce and Gertrude Stein.
"Leider skillfully captures the flair, bravado, and driving ambition of the early twentieth century’s most popular female novelist. . . .Few lived as fascinating a life as Atherton. . . . A sharply written biography with an eye to the social and literary history of a threshold era in feminism." THE BOOKLIST
"Atherton, wild wonder that she was, has found a biographer absolutely worthy of her. Here is scholarship of the very best kind: deep, original, affectionate, witty, unobtrusive." LOS ANGELES TIMES
"For literary talent, the prize goes not to the prolific Atherton but to her biographer. . . .CALIFORNIA’S DAUGHTER is well organized and paced, the prose noteworthy for its fluency, tact, and dry humor."
THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT