Excerpted from Stella by Siegfried Lenz. Copyright © 2010 by Siegfried Lenz. Excerpted by permission of Other Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
1. What sparks Christian and Stella's attraction to one another?
2. What kind of teacher is Stella? Discuss her persona in the classroom versus when she is alone with Christian.
3. Lenz tells the story of Stella in a very distinct way--having the narrator switch between second and third person, allowing for very few breaks in the narrative, and moving fluidly between the summer and school sections. How did these stylistic choices affect your reading of the novel?
4. Is Christian a boy or a man? What signs of maturity--or immaturity--did you see in him throughout the book?
5. Why do you think Lenz chose Animal Farm as the text so prominently referred to and analyzed throughout Stella?
6. Do you think anyone truly knew about Christian and Stella's love affair? If so, who?
7. Discuss the minor characters who surround the lovers, including Sonja, the old radio operator, and Georg? What does their presence add to the novel?
8. Do you think Stella and Christian's relationship is real love, first love, or just a schoolboy crush? In your opinion, what might have happened if Christian and Stella had had a chance at a future together?
9. Discuss the various regrets that follow the characters of Stella.