Test your knowledge of literature often found on high school reading lists!
Part I: Identify These Authors
Choose from: Emily Bronte, Joseph Conrad, Daniel DeFoe, Charles Dickens, William Golding, Carson McCullers, Toni Morrison, JD Salinger, Thornton Wilder, Richard Wright
1. The inspiration for one of this Nobel Prize winner’s eleven novels reportedly came to him as he read an adventure story to his children. “Man,” he later said, “produces evil as a bee produces honey.”
2. Although she distinguished herself with a long career in academia and as a Nobel Prize winning author, some remember her best for calling Bill Clinton “the first black President.”
3. This early (perhaps the first) novelist produced many writings. As penance for his religious dissent, he served as an English government agent and duplicitously helped secure the union of England, Scotland, and Wales.
4. Although he wrote his novels in English, this author spoke only Polish and French into his twenties. Inspiration for perhaps his most affecting work grew from his experiences as a steam boat captain in the Congo Free State.
5. After this author left the Communist Party in the 1940’s, he was investigated by the CIA and FBI, and ultimately blacklisted. When he died in the hospital of a sudden heart attack at age 52, his daughter claimed he’d been murdered.
6. Some blame his reclusiveness on post traumatic stress he reportedly suffered after serving in World War II. His first novel became de rigueur for anguished adolescents.
7. Acute homesickness kept her often in her native Yorkshire, England. She died of tuberculosis before her lone novel garnered a cult-like following.
8. This author won the Pulitzer Prize once for fiction and twice for drama. Some claim that his award winning novel is the precursor of contemporary disaster films.
9. Romantic vacillations dogged her life, and infirmity constrained it. She used “grotesque figures” in her novels, she said, to illustrate “love of a person who is incapable of returning or receiving it.”
10. His writing style has been both revered and ridiculed. For his abundant stories and characters, this author drew heavily from childhood experiences in a factory and his tenure as a court stenographer.
Part II: Name Their Literary Works
Match each author above with one of his/her literary works, described below
a. A man chronicles the lives of five people killed when a bridge collapses.
b. After he is expelled from preparatory school, a young man experiences New York City while he contemplates life and his future.
c. A boy overcomes an evil stepfather, financial ruin, and the deaths of loved ones.
d. When a poor young black girl is assaulted by her father, she wishes for blue eyes to make the world seem beautiful.
e. An orphan falls in love with his benefactor’s daughter. She loves him too, but when she rejects him for a neighbor, he seeks revenge over many years.
f. A black servant unintentionally suffocates a white woman, then commits crimes trying to elude police. His attorney’s attempts to explain racial oppression are unsuccessful.
g. A teen-aged girl, a carousel mechanic, a black doctor, and a bar owner all find comfort in friendship with a mute, who in turn idolizes another mute.
h. Young plane crash survivors make their own rules on a deserted island.
i. An Englishman who loves the sea and adventure is shipwrecked on an island for many years.
j. An ivory trading company boat captain overcomes many difficulties while searching in the jungle for a corrupt fellow employee.
Scroll down for answers!
1. William Golding, h. Lord of the Flies
2. Toni Morrison, d. The Bluest Eye
3. Daniel DeFoe, i. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
4. Joseph Conrad, j. Heart of Darkness
5. Richard Wright, f. Native Son
6. JD Salinger, b. Catcher in the Rye
7. Emily Bronte, e. Withering Heights
8. Thornton Wilder, a. The Bridge of the San Luis Rey
9. Carson McCullers, g. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
10. Charles Dickens, c. David Copperfield