Special Sub-Topic: Southern Literature Classics
|Tennessee-born Peter Taylor has been called "the undisputed master of the short story form", but he won the Pulitzer Prize for a novel in which a son is asked to forestall the remarriage of his father by his two spinster sisters. Which of these is Taylor's Pulitzer-winning novel?|
"A Summons to Memphis". Taylor's heroes are often conflicted and flawed, and his stories expose the challenges of Southerners confronting New South realities with their Old South manners and traditions. "A Summons to Memphis" deals with the timeless trope of a Southerner who has moved to the North (Manhattan) returning to his roots.
|In William Faulkner's novel "The Sound and the Fury", the four chapters are written from four different points of view, using four dramatically different narrative styles. Who is the speaker in the second chapter, titled "June Second, 1910", in which a Harvard student commits suicide?|
Quentin Compson. Quentin Compson is also a central character in Faulkner's "Absalom, Absalom!"
|What William Faulkner novel centers on a family's journey across the countryside to bury one of its own, nearly losing the corpse in a river and in a burning barn?|
"As I Lay Dying". "As I Lay Dying" is told in turn from the perspectives of all the Bundren family members (and others they meet along the way) -- even the dead Addie Bundren gets her chance to say her piece.
|In the Edgar Allan Poe short story "The Fall of the House of Usher", who is the sister of Roderick Usher who emerges blood-stained to kill her brother moments before the House falls crumbling into the tarn?|
Madeline. Like many women in Poe's works, Madeline has a profound impact on the story relative to her actual presence in the narrative. Annabel Lee is the long-lost beloved in the poem by the same name. Lenore is the name of the woman loved by the speaker in Poe's poem "The Raven." Helen is the title figure in two poems by Poe; in one, her "crystalline, celestial" eyes remain burned in the memory of a lovestruck passerby. Poe is not thought of by many as a Southern author, but he attended the University of Virginia and spent considerable time in both Maryland and Virginia.
|Which of the following authors is known for her depiction of Louisiana Creole culture, particularly in her book "The Awakening"?|
Kate Chopin. Chopin was actually a popular and nationally-acclaimed author in the late 19th century until "The Awakening" met with widespread critical disapproval. Ironically, it has become the novel for which she has remained famous and has been noted as a pioneering work of feminist literature.
|In the 1920s and 30s, a group of authors centered around Vanderbilt University began a short-lived literary movement, known as the Fugitives and Agrarians, that reacted against the industrialization of the South. Which of the following authors was not associated with that movement?|
Walker Percy. Percy was of a different generation from the Fugitives and Agrarians, born in 1916. His work focused more on existential questions, earning him the name "the Dixie Kierkegaard."
|Which of the following Southern authors was a descendant of Daniel Boone, was involved in revolutionary Mexican politics, was married to the first of her three husbands at age 16, and won the Pulitzer Prize for her "Collected Stories"?|
Katherine Anne Porter. Although Porter had a reputation as a free spirit, her religious education and upbringing permeates her work.
|In Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird", Scout is attacked on her way home from a school theater production on Halloween. What is Scout dressed as when she is attacked?|
A ham. Scout's costume shields her view for most of the scuffle, but she soon discovers that Boo Radley has killed her assailant, Bob Ewell, and saved her and her brother, Jem.
|Which Southern political icon's life does Robert Penn Warren's novel "All the King's Men" roughly follow?|
Huey Long. "All the King's Men" is considered one of the most brilliant political novels of all time -- its title was borrowed somewhat for the movie "All the President's Men", which related the intrigue surrounding President Nixon's raid on DNC headquarters.
|Identify the Tennessee Williams play from the following plot description: A woman visits her sister in the wake of personal scandal and battles wits with her brother-in-law, who sees through her pretensions and resents her self-righteous intrusion into his family's humble existence.|
"A Streetcar Named Desire". "Streetcar" won Wiliams the first of his two Pulitzer Prizes and ultimately gained him a greater audience when it was made into an Oscar-winning motion picture. "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" won Williams his second Pulitzer; "The Glass Menagerie" was Williams' first play adapted for the screen, one year before "Streetcar."
|In William Faulkner's novel, "Absalom, Absalom!", what is the name of Sutpen's estate, where he builds his mansion and which Quentin Compson and Rosa Coldfield visit in the novel's climactic final passages?|
Sutpen's Hundred. While Yoknapatawpha is the name of the fictional county in Mississippi where many of Faulkner's works take place, Sutpen's Hundred is the precise name of Sutpen's plantation. Belle Reve is the Mississippi plantation which Blanche Dubois "fought and bled" for in "A Streetcar Named Desire", and Twelve Oaks is Ashley Wilkes' family estate in "Gone With the Wind."
|In Donald Davidson's classic poem, "Lee in the Mountains", how is Robert E. Lee supposedly employed as he speaks to the reader?|
He is President of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia. Davidson's marvelous poem includes numerous flashbacks to military scenes, much as one could believe Lee might have experienced as he walked around the college in the years following the War. However, the reader is alerted to the time period immediately at the beginning of the poem, which denotes the setting as "1865-1870", the brief period of Lee's presidency over the college, ending with his death. The college was later renamed Washington & Lee University, in honor of its former president.
|In T.R. Pearson's novel "A Short History of a Small Place", Miss Myra Pettigrew and her brother the Mayor keep what kind of unusual pet, known as Mr. Britches?|
a monkey. Mr. Britches outlives both of his "parents." He has a penchant for urinating off the flagpole in the Pettigrew's yard, giving rise to a series of bets (and one lawsuit) over how far his stream will go on a given day.
|In William Faulkner's novel "Light in August", how does Joe Christmas die?|
He is killed and castrated by Percy Grimm, a racist army captain. While all of the answers could plausibly have occurred during the novel's sometimes-convoluted narrative, Joe actually avoids lynching, never goes to trial, escapes prison, and is suddenly killed while seeking refuge at the Reverend Hightower's home.
|What is the name of the river that four Atlanta suburbanites feel the need to travel down one last time before it is dammed forever in James Dickey's novel, "Deliverance"?|
Cahulawassee River. Although the Chattooga River was the setting for the motion picture version of "Deliverance", Dickey's novel is actually set on the fictional Cahulawassee River. The Oconee and Chattahoochee are other dammed rivers in Georgia.
Did you find these entries particularly interesting, or do you have comments / corrections to make? Let the author know!
Send the author a thank you or
Submit a correction