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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Danish Girl

1. What is the true nature of Greta and Einar's marriage? Is it, at heart, a love story?

2. Who do you think must cope with the most change?

3. Would Einar have become Lili without Greta's help? Why does he initially agree to try on Anna's dress? Would Greta have done the same for Einar?

4. What role does the city of Copenhagen play in influencing the lives of its characters?

5. Greta loves the men in her life in different ways. Are there any similarities between her love for Teddy and her love for Einar?

6. When Henrik says to Lili "I already know. Don't worry about anything but I already know" (page 60) what does he mean? What role does Einar play in Lili telling Henrik she can't see him anymore?

7. What is happening to Einar when he goes to Mme. Jasmin-Carton's and dances for the man? How does this influence his full metamorphosis into Lili?

8. Why doesn't Lili pack Einar's paintings to take with her to New York? What do the paintings symbolize for Lili?

9. Why doesn't Lili tell Greta about re-meeting Henrik?

10. Should Greta have done more to stop Lili's last operation? Why or why not?

11. How much does the last operation mean to Lili, in terms of becoming a complete woman? Should she have risked it?

12. Of the people Lili feels are responsible for her birth—Henrik, Anna, Carlilse, Hans, Greta—why doesn't she include Einar?

The Danish Girl
by David Ebershoff

  • Publication Date: February 1, 2001
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
  • ISBN-10: 0140298487
  • ISBN-13: 9780140298482