The first published work of fiction by legendary author and poet Gertrude Stein, Three Lives is a collection of two short stories and a novella focusing on the bleak existence that faced immigrant and minority women in turn-of-the-century America.
Each impoverished woman must labor as a domestic worker to survive, and all three protagonists have their own tales of hardship. "The Good Anna" tells the story of a young German servant who must decide between loyalty to her employer and love. In "The Gentle Lena," another German servant girl marries the wrong man, and finds herself trapped as a wife and mother. And the introspective "Melanctha" examines the tragic life of a mulatto woman and those she loved.
Pocket Books' Enriched Classics present the great works of world literature enriched for the contemporary reader. This edition of Three Lives has been prepared by Brenda Wineapple, professor of Modern Literary and Historical Studies at Union College. It includes her introduction, a selection of critical excerpts, and suggestions for further reading, as well as a unique visual essay of period illustrations and photographs.