"Three Lives" is a series of novellas, three independent stories set in the fictional town of Bridgepoint. The first story is that of "The Good Anna", about Anna Federner, a servant of "solid lower middle-class south german stock." The second story is that of "Melanctha", who is the daughter of a black father and mixed-race mother. The third story is that of "The Gentle Lena", which follows the life and death of the titular Lena, a German girl brought to Bridgepoint by an aunt. To this is added "Tender Buttons", which is Stein's most famous work of hermetic poetry. Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) was an American-Jewish writer, poet and art collector who spent most of her life in France. While living in Paris, Gertrude began writing for publication. Her earliest writings were mainly retellings of her college experiences. Her first critically acclaimed publication was Three Lives. Sherwood Anderson in his public introduction to Stein's 1922 publication of Geography and Plays wrote: “For me the work of Gertrude Stein consists in a rebuilding, an entirely new recasting of life, in the city of words. Here is one artist who has been able to accept ridicule, who has even forgone the privilege of writing the great American novel, uplifting our English speaking stage, and wearing the bays of the great poets to go live among the little housekeeping words, the swaggering bullying street-corner words, the honest working, money saving words and all the other forgotten and neglected citizens of the sacred and half forgotten city.