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Quiz about Dear America
Quiz about Dear America

Dear America Trivia Quiz

Dear America, over time you've produced some incredible authors, and I've written this quiz as a tribute to them. I'm going to name three books by ten American authors, and the task is to match the author to the works.

A matching quiz by Kankurette. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Match Quiz
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
9 / 10
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 68 (7/10), Changeling_de (10/10), Guest 174 (3/10).
Mobile instructions: Press on an answer on the right. Then, press on the gray box it matches on the left.
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. 'Franny and Zooey', 'The Catcher in the Rye', 'For Esme with Love and Squalor'  
Joseph Heller
2. 'Saint Maybe', 'Vinegar Girl', 'Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant'  
F Scott Fitzgerald
3. 'Beloved', 'Jazz', 'Song of Solomon'  
Anne Tyler
4. 'We Need to Talk About Kevin', 'The Post-Birthday World', 'Big Brother: A Novel'  
Toni Morrison
5. 'Slaughterhouse-5', 'Cat's Cradle', 'Deadeye Dick'  
Lionel Shriver
6. 'The Joy Luck Club', 'A Hundred Secret Senses', The Kitchen God's Wife'  
Ed McBain
7. 'Ice', 'Tricks', 'Ten Plus One'  
Alison Lurie
8. 'The Great Gatsby', 'Tender Is the Night', 'The Beautiful and Damned'  
Kurt Vonnegut
9. 'Something Happened', 'Catch-22', 'Picture This'  
JD Salinger
10. 'The War Between the Tates', 'Foreign Affairs', 'Truth and Consequences'  
Amy Tan

Most Recent Scores
Sep 20 2023 : Guest 68: 7/10
Sep 18 2023 : Changeling_de: 10/10
Sep 12 2023 : Guest 174: 3/10
Sep 11 2023 : Guest 204: 8/10
Sep 08 2023 : Upstart3: 10/10
Sep 08 2023 : Guest 174: 8/10
Sep 07 2023 : Guest 86: 5/10
Aug 28 2023 : dolly_llama: 10/10
Aug 22 2023 : polly656: 7/10

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. 'Franny and Zooey', 'The Catcher in the Rye', 'For Esme with Love and Squalor'

Answer: JD Salinger

The reclusive Jerome David Salinger was born in New York, and started out writing short stories, which he submitted to 'The New Yorker'. He worked in a counter-intelligence unit during the Second World War and drew on his war experiences for his short stories. Salinger rarely gave interviews, his last being in 1980. He died in 2010, aged 91.

'Franny and Zooey' consists of two novellas, 'Franny' and 'Zooey', about the two youngest children of the eccentric, highly intelligent Glass family. 'Franny' is about Franny, the baby of the family and her mental breakdown; 'Zooey' is about her brother Zooey's attempt to snap her out of it.

'The Catcher in the Rye' is about the New York adventures of Holden Caulfield, a teenage boy who has just been kicked out of school. It achieved notoriety after Mark Chapman, the murderer of John Lennon, cited it as an influence.

'For Esme with Love and Squalor' is a collection of short stories, three of which - 'Down at the Dinghy', 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish' and 'Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut' - also feature the Glass family. Another story, 'Teddy', is influenced by the same Eastern mysticism that permeates the Glass family stories.
2. 'Saint Maybe', 'Vinegar Girl', 'Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant'

Answer: Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler was born in 1947. Many of her stories are set in her native Baltimore, and feature people who are often misfits of some sort, or who work in unusual jobs. Some also focus on one family over several generations.

In 'Saint Maybe', Ian Bedloe drops out of college, becomes a carpenter and discovers religion after his brother commits suicide. He also finds himself raising his brother's three children.

'Vinegar Girl' is a retelling of 'The Taming of the Shrew', set in the modern USA. Katharine is now Kate, the daughter of an eccentric scientist who finds herself falling in love with Pyotr, a foreign student of her father's.

'Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant' tells the story of the dysfunctional Tull family, one of whom - Ezra - becomes a cook at the titular restaurant, and later takes it over. A running theme throughout the book is the family's inability to finish a meal together.
3. 'Beloved', 'Jazz', 'Song of Solomon'

Answer: Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison was born in 1931. A graduate of the traditionally black Howard University, she was influenced by her parents telling her African-American folk tales and ghost stories as a child.

'Beloved', one of Morrison's most famous works, was adapted into a 1998 film starring Oprah Winfrey and Thandie Newton. It has a non-linear narrative and tells the story of Sethe, a former slave, who murders her children out of fear that her former master would take them from her. She encounters a mysterious woman called Beloved, who she believes is her dead daughter. The book is dedicated to the many descendants of the African slave trade.

'Jazz' is set in Harlem in the 1920s, and features multiple narrators. Cosmetics salesman Joe Trace kills Dorcas, his lover, and his wife Violet stabs Dorcas' body at the funeral.

'Song of Solomon' tells the story of Macon Dead III, aka 'Milkman', from childhood to adulthood. He is nicknamed 'Milkman' because he took a long time to nurse as a baby. He becomes disillusioned with people when he discovers they cannot fly, and as an adult, his friend Guitar joins the Seven Days Society, who kill a white person in revenge for every murder of a black person that goes unpunished.
4. 'We Need to Talk About Kevin', 'The Post-Birthday World', 'Big Brother: A Novel'

Answer: Lionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver was born Margaret Ann Shriver, but changed her name to Lionel as she felt a men's name suited her better. She stated that she enjoys creating characters who are 'hard to love' and has lived in Europe, Asia and Africa.

'We Need to Talk About Kevin' is a novel told in the form of letters from Eva, the narrator, to her late husband. Kevin is her son, a sociopath who grows up to massacre several students and a teacher at his high school.

'The Post-Birthday World' contains two parallel universes: one where Irina, an illustrator, kisses her husband's friend Ramsey, a snooker player, and has an affair with him. In the other one, she stays with her husband. Both timelines end the same way, but it is up to the reader to decide which one really happened.

'Big Brother' was inspired by Shriver's brother's death from obesity. Edison, the character based on her brother, is a morbidly obese jazz musician who moves with his sister and her family, and goes on a strict diet in an attempt to lose weight.
5. 'Slaughterhouse-5', 'Cat's Cradle', 'Deadeye Dick'

Answer: Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut was born in 1922. Several of his novels are set in the fictional town of Ilium in New York, and feature recurring characters such as the failed science fiction writer Kilgore Trout, and the salesman Dwayne Hoover. He also wrote several short stories. He died in 2007.

'Slaughterhouse-5' was based on Vonnegut's experiences in the Second World War, where he was captured by the Germans and survived the bombing of Dresden. It tells the story of Billy Pilgrim, who becomes 'unstuck in time' and travels to the fictional planet of Tralfamadore.

'Cat's Cradle' is an apocalyptic novel that satirises organised religion; it features the fictional religion of Bokononism, to which the narrator converts. It also tells the story of a deadly compound called ice-nine which freezes everything it touches, and eventually destroys the world.

'Deadeye Dick' is about Rudy Waltz, an asexual man who accidentally shoots a pregnant woman while practising with his dad's rifle. His father is an eccentric who is obsessed with the Nazis, and Rudy is left to do most of the cooking and housekeeping. As an adult, he emigrates to Haiti while his hometown of Midland City is destroyed by a neutron bomb.
6. 'The Joy Luck Club', 'A Hundred Secret Senses', The Kitchen God's Wife'

Answer: Amy Tan

Amy Tan was born in 1952. Her parents moved to the US from China to escape the Chinese Civil War. Many of her novels are centred around the Chinese-American experience, and cultural clashes between Chinese and Chinese-American people.

'A Hundred Secret Senses' is about Olivia and her Chinese-American half-sister Kwan, who claims to be psychic and has visions of her past, where she was a Hakka girl with one eye, and Olivia was an English missionary. They go to China together to meet relatives, along with Olivia's estranged husband Simon, who gets back with her. They enter a cave system, and Kwan disappears.

'The Joy Lock Club' is the story of four Chinese mothers who emigrated to the US, and their Chinese-American daughters. Each character - save Suyuan Woo, who is dead, and whose daughter Jing-Mei speaks on her behalf - narrates her own story. The title comes from a mahjong club formed while one of the women was living in China. It was made into a film in 1993.

'The Kitchen God's Wife' also features the second-generation daughter of Chinese parents, Pearl Louie Brandt, who has to break the news to her mother Winnie that Winnie has MS. Similarly, Winnie must come clean to Pearl about her own past; she was abandoned by her mother, and forced into an arranged marriage with an abusive man.
7. 'Ice', 'Tricks', 'Ten Plus One'

Answer: Ed McBain

Ed McBain was the pen name of Salvatore Lombino, who also went by the name of Evan Hunter. A former teacher, he specialised in crime fiction, many of which were novels about the fictional 87th Precinct, and the homicide cases solved by Italian-American detective Steve Carella and his colleagues. He died in 2005.

'Ice', like 87th Precinct books written in the 1980s, focuses on the cocaine trade, and is centred around the death of Sally, a dancer who turns out to be a cocaine dealer. Several other deaths in the book are also connected to the cocaine trade.

'Tricks' is set during Halloween, and features members of the team working on various cases. One case involves the body of a stage magician (later found to be his assistant), which has been dismembered and left in bits around the city, while another involves a group of circus midgets robbing off-licences.

'Ten Plus One', written in the 1960s, focuses on a sniper who is picking off various people around the city. The victims turn out to have been cast members of a play performed at a local university several years ago, all of whom were present at a party where one of them was raped, and became unable to conceive as a result.
8. 'The Great Gatsby', 'Tender Is the Night', 'The Beautiful and Damned'

Answer: F Scott Fitzgerald

F Scott Fitzgerald was born in 1896 and is most known for his works set during the 'Jazz Age' of the 1920s. Like fellow writers Sinclair Lewis and Ernest Hemingway, he is considered to be part of the 'lost generation' who grew up during the First World War. He only published four novels in his lifetime, three of which are listed above (the other was 'This Side of Paradise'). He died in 1940.

'The Great Gatsby', Fitzgerald's most famous novel, is the story of the eponymous Gatsby, an enigmatic millionaire with an active social life. However, he has very few real friends, and is revealed to have made his money through bootlegging. He falls in love with the rich debutante, Daisy Buchanan, and ends up being shot dead by George Wilson, who blames Gatsby for his wife's death.

'Tender Is the Night' is based on the lives of Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, who was hospitalised for schizophrenia. The protagonist, Dick Diver, is a psychiatrist who is married to Nicole, one of his patients. Diver is an alcoholic, while Nicole is in and out of mental hospitals, and eventually cheats on Diver.

'The Beautiful and Damned' tells the story of Anthony Gilbert, a rich socialite, and his decaying marriage with his wife Gloria. It is also thought to have been based on the Fitzgeralds' lives.
9. 'Something Happened', 'Catch-22', 'Picture This'

Answer: Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller was born in 1923 and started writing at an early age. He served in the Second World War, in the US Air Force, and used his experiences as a basis for 'Catch-22'. He died in 1999.

'Catch-22', Heller's most famous work, is set during the Second World War. It is a satirical novel about unescapable situations, and takes an incredibly dark turn towards the end. Yossarian, the main character, is trying to be discharged on grounds of insanity, but if he declares himself insane, he will be found fit to serve - a catch-22 situation, catch-22 being a vague military policy.

'Something Happened' is narrated by Bob Slocum, a businessman, and takes a stream-of-consciousness form. It chronicles Slocum's descent into madness as he prepares for a job interview.

'Picture This' is based around one of Rembrandt's works, 'Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer'. It is set over several centuries, and Heller draws parallels between Athens during the Classical Age and the US in the 20th century.
10. 'The War Between the Tates', 'Foreign Affairs', 'Truth and Consequences'

Answer: Alison Lurie

Alison Lurie was born in 1926. She taught English at Cornell University, specialising in children's literature and writing, and received the title of professor emerita. She has also written about the semiotics of dress (customs and symbols associated with clothes).

'The War Between the Tates', like several of Lurie's stories, is set in the fictional town of Corinth, New York, and draws parallels between the breakdown of a relationship between a politics professor and his wife, and their horrible teenage children, and the burgeoning Vietnam War. Brian, the professor in question, has an affair with Wendy, a young hippy and one of his students, and Erica, Brian's wife, finds out when she reads a letter from Wendy.

'Foreign Affairs' is about a professor of English, Vinnie Miner, who visits England for research purposes. LD Zimmern, the critic who trashes her work in the book, is the same Leonard Zimmern who is friends with Brian Tate in 'The War Between the Tates'. She also befriends Roo, Leonard's daughter.

'Love and Consequences' is also set in Corinth, and is about two couples; Alan, an architecture professor at Corinth University and his wife Jane, and the author Delia Delaney and her husband. Erica Tate's best friend Danielle and her husband Bernie also appear in the book.
Source: Author Kankurette

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
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