DISCUSSION QUESTIONS



1. How important do you feel is the setting of A Short time to Stay Here? Why?
2. What adjectives would you use to describe Stephen at the beginning of the novel? What adjectives would you use to describe Anna at the beginning of the novel?
3. Why do you think Stephen is first drawn to Hans Ruser? How does their relationship evolve?
4. Of the minor characters in the novel, who is your favorite? Why?
5. What role does Julius Christopher play in the novel?
6. Pick one of the many themes—imprisonment, religion, race, culture, music, marriage, etc.—and discuss its relevance to the main story.
7. Is A Short Time to Stay Here a war story or an anti-war story?
8. Which is more prevalent in the novel: life or death? What is the relationship between the two?
9. Who do you think is ultimately responsible for Roy Robbins’ death? Why?
10. How have Stephen and Anna each changed since the beginning of the novel?
11. If you could be a first-hand witness to any scene in the novel, which scene would you choose to visit? What would you hope to discover?
12. Two important symbols in the novel are the fence and the bridge. What do you think they represent?
13. What is the significance of the title of the novel?
14. What question would you most like to ask the author?