Michael Tomasky says this week’s quiz is much easier (he received complaints after the previous challenge), but I just continue to look illiterate. I was confident about very, very few and guessed two or three correctly:
1. George and Lennie are the co-protagonists of what famous American novel?
a. Joseph Heller’s Catch 22
b. John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men
c. Saul Bellow’s Ravelstein
2. What literary figure famously said of Lillian Hellman, “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’”?
a. Mary McCarthy
b. Lionel Trilling
c. Diana Trilling
3. The notable characteristic of Gore Vidal’s character Myra Breckenridge is that:
a. She was a bank robber
b. She was a transsexual
c. She disguised herself as a man and became a Catholic priest
4. What surly American protagonist, in a famous scene in the novel featuring him, gets in trouble for losing the fencing team’s equipment?
a. Holden Caulfield
b. Rabbit Angstrom
c. Nick Carraway
5. Whose novel Their Eyes Were Watching God tells the story of the struggles of African Americans in early 20th century Florida?
a. Langston Hughes
b. Eudora Welty
c. Zora Neale Hurston
6. Which Henry James novel was made into the excellent 1949 film The Heiress, starring Olivia de Haviland and directed by William Wyler?
a. The Portrait of a Lady
b. The Bostonians
c. Washington Square
7. What 19th century novel features several memorable scenes with characters who pass themselves off as an English duke and the lost dauphin of France?
a. Huck Finn
b. The House of the Seven Gables
8. Who said: “It’s not a good idea to put your wife into a novel; not your latest wife anyway”?
a. Richard Wright
b. Norman Mailer
c. Philip Roth
9. Which novel has sold the most copies?
a. Stephen King’s The Shining
b. Jacqueline Susann’s The Valley of the Dolls
c. Michael Chrichton’s Jurassic Park
10. What American poet wrote these lines:
Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time–
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal
a. Sylvia Plath
b. Elizabeth Bishop
c. John Ashbery
Answers below the fold.
Answers: 1-b; 2-a; 3-b; 4-a; 5-c; 6-c; 7-a; 8-b; 9-b; 10-a.