Three Lives is a series of vellas, 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.