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Quiz about Mississippi Writers
Quiz about Mississippi Writers

Mississippi Writers Trivia Quiz


In her book "On Writing" Eudora Welty declared, "Every story would be another story, and unrecognizable as art, if it took up its characters and plot and happened somewhere else." Here are writers with Mississippi stories.

A photo quiz by nannywoo. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
nannywoo
Time
5 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
388,428
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
475
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: PARTS1 (7/10), PARTS1 (7/10), PARTS1 (7/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Born in 1908 not far from the historic Natchez Trace in Mississippi, what writer drew on his life experiences as a 20th century African American man to write "Black Boy" and "Native Son"? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. William Faulkner was born on his family's plantation, Rowan Oak, in the town of Jefferson in Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, and it was here that he wrote "The Sound and the Fury" and other novels that earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949.


Question 3 of 10
3. After his family settled in Southaven, Desoto County, when he was four, he grew up to become a lawyer and to represent his home district in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1984-1990 at the state capitol in Jackson. Who is this bestselling writer of legal novels like "The Firm" and "The Pelican Brief"? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Born in Georgia in 1944, she lived in Mississippi during most of 1966 through 1972, working for voter registration and education rights, teaching at Jackson State University and Tougaloo College, marrying a civil rights lawyer, and giving birth to her daughter Rebecca. Who is this "womanist" writer of "The Color Purple" and other influential works of fiction and nonfiction? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Ida B. Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi, in 1862, the same year that a Confederate raid on the Union garrison there temporarily impaired General Grant's progress in the American Civil War. After the war, as a free woman of color, Wells grew to be a dynamic international speaker, writer, and newspaperwoman who fought for women's suffrage and equal rights for people of all races. What legally sanctioned atrocity, directed primarily toward black men in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, did she most strongly oppose in her writings? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Natasha Trethewey, who was born in Gulfport, Mississippi, the daughter of a white Canadian father and an African American mother, has been both Mississippi and United States Poet Laureate, a professor at Emory University, and the author of books of poetry that draw on personal and cultural history. In 2010, she published a book of poetry, essays, and letters subtitled "A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast": what natural event that impacted the coast in 2005 is the subject of this book? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. He was not born in Margaritaville but in Pascagoula, in 1946. What native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast best known for his songwriting skills has made the New York Times bestseller list for both fiction and nonfiction. Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. The grandson of an Episcopal priest, he was born in a rectory in Columbus, Mississippi, and spent his early years in a similar setting in Clarksdale, the legendary home town of the Mississippi Delta blues. As a child he was called Tom, but he adopted a pen name based on his father's place of birth. Who was this famous American playwright, who wrote "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", "The Glass Menagerie", "A Streetcar Named Desire", and other highly regarded plays? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Shelby Foote and his friend Walker Percy grew up together in Greenville, Mississippi. Walker Percy wrote fiction and won numerous awards, including the National Book Award for Fiction in 1962 for the "Moviegoer". Shelby Foote is best known for his historical nonfiction focused on what bloody, divisive war in United States history that included the Siege of Vicksburg? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Only a few of Eudora Welty's stories are set outside of Mississippi, but her fiction, like her photography done for the government Works Progress Administration under FDR's New Deal, covers many nooks and crannies of the state. Twisting the conventional advice to writers, she cracked, "Write what you don't know about what you know." With a few brief exceptions, Miss Welty lived all her 92 years in what city, the capital of the state she knew best? Hint



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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Born in 1908 not far from the historic Natchez Trace in Mississippi, what writer drew on his life experiences as a 20th century African American man to write "Black Boy" and "Native Son"?

Answer: Richard Wright

Richard Wright (1908-1960) was born on the plantation near Natchez, Mississippi, where his grandparents had been enslaved before the American Civil War, a war in which both his grandfathers fought on the Union side. His books relate a harrowing upbringing during the Jim Crow era, when oppressive laws made it both difficult and dangerous for the descendants of slaves to live with full equality.

The Natchez Trace evokes a more ancient past, when animals created the trail on migrations south to north along a natural ridge east of the Mississippi River.

It was used by Native American tribes before (and after) Europeans and Africans arrived. Dark and mysterious, the Natchez Trace has sparked legends that some Mississippi writers use to advantage, but Wright's narratives are chilling to read because they are real and do not romanticize the evils they describe.
2. William Faulkner was born on his family's plantation, Rowan Oak, in the town of Jefferson in Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, and it was here that he wrote "The Sound and the Fury" and other novels that earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949.

Answer: False

William Faulkner (1897-1962) was born in the small railroad town New Albany, Mississippi, and his family moved to Oxford, Mississippi, the model for his fictional Jefferson, in 1902. Jefferson and Yoknapatawpha County are not real places but creations of Faulkner's imagination that ground the plots and characters in many of his short stories and novels, tying them together with a concrete sense of place and ancestral connection characteristic of many real Mississippi towns.

His immediate ancestors were railroad investors and businessmen rather than large landowners, so he was not born in an ancestral home on a plantation. Nor did Faulkner write the brilliant novels that impressed the Nobel Prize committee in the stately Rowan Oak home, which he bought after getting the Nobel award. "The Sound and the Fury" was published in 1929, twenty years before Faulkner acquired Rowan Oak, which is a real place, now open to visitors through the University of Mississippi.
3. After his family settled in Southaven, Desoto County, when he was four, he grew up to become a lawyer and to represent his home district in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1984-1990 at the state capitol in Jackson. Who is this bestselling writer of legal novels like "The Firm" and "The Pelican Brief"?

Answer: John Grisham

John Grisham was born in 1955 in Arkansas but has spent most of his life in Mississippi. He is a phenomenally successful fiction writer, whose books are bestsellers that are often made into movies. Desoto County, in the northwest corner of the state, is part of the metropolitan area of Memphis, Tennessee, and because it is an easy commuting distance from the city is a fast growing, ethnically diverse community with the highest median income in the state. John Grisham, a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law, was a lawyer and state representative for the district that includes Desoto County before publishing "A Time to Kill" - his first novel - in 1989.

His first bestseller "The Firm" began his success with novels being made into movies. Like Faulkner, Grisham sets many of his novels in a specific fictional place, the town of Clanton in the equally fictional Ford County.
4. Born in Georgia in 1944, she lived in Mississippi during most of 1966 through 1972, working for voter registration and education rights, teaching at Jackson State University and Tougaloo College, marrying a civil rights lawyer, and giving birth to her daughter Rebecca. Who is this "womanist" writer of "The Color Purple" and other influential works of fiction and nonfiction?

Answer: Alice Walker

While the multiple award winning "The Color Purple" and the 1982 movie based on that novel is Alice Walker's best known piece of writing, she is a prolific writer of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Her first novel - "The Third Life of Grange Copeland" - was written during her time in Mississippi. An image of violets, which bloom in wild banks of color in Mississippi, seems appropriate, because of the "purple" in her novel title, but especially because of her nonfiction book of essays "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose" (an important book to me as a reader and a woman). Walker uses the word "womanist" as a term richer and more inclusive than "feminist" and has said, "Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender." Perhaps the least known writer in the list of answers for this question is Margaret Walker Alexander (1915-98), who was a Mississippi writer, living in Meridian as a child and teaching at Jackson State from 1949-1979, during the time that Alice Walker (no relation) was there.

As an African American writer who chose to remain in the south, she deserves more than this small nod.
5. Ida B. Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi, in 1862, the same year that a Confederate raid on the Union garrison there temporarily impaired General Grant's progress in the American Civil War. After the war, as a free woman of color, Wells grew to be a dynamic international speaker, writer, and newspaperwoman who fought for women's suffrage and equal rights for people of all races. What legally sanctioned atrocity, directed primarily toward black men in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, did she most strongly oppose in her writings?

Answer: Lynching

Lynching was so socially accepted and legally protected in some parts of the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that attendees at lynchings would send postcards to friends and relatives, showing a dead body, often burned or mutilated, hanging from a gallows or tree limb (the "strange fruit" in the title of a song famously recorded by Billie Holiday).

The 1892 pamphlet by Ida B. Wells-Barnett (her married name) was titled "Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases" (available online at Project Gutenburg) and was written to dispel the myth that such killings of black men were done as legitimate retribution for crimes against white women.

It is ironic but somehow triumphant that the museum dedicated to Ida B. Wells in Holly Springs, Mississippi, is located in the house where she was born into slavery; her mother was the cook. Holly Springs is in the northern part of the state, on the railroad line leading from the northern part of the United States into Mississippi, explaining why General Ulysses Grant chose to winter there in 1862 while planning the attack on the Mississippi River port city of Vicksburg.
6. Natasha Trethewey, who was born in Gulfport, Mississippi, the daughter of a white Canadian father and an African American mother, has been both Mississippi and United States Poet Laureate, a professor at Emory University, and the author of books of poetry that draw on personal and cultural history. In 2010, she published a book of poetry, essays, and letters subtitled "A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast": what natural event that impacted the coast in 2005 is the subject of this book?

Answer: Hurricane Katrina

Natasha Trethewey was born in 1966 and served as United States Poet Laureate 2012-14. Her poetry weaves personal and historical memory from the perspective of a person of both African and European descent. In "Native Guard" some of her poems look at the American Civil War through the eyes of black soldiers guarding white prisoners of war on Ship Island, in the Gulf of Mexico near Gulfport, while in "Thrall" poems reflect on images of mixed races in paintings from Spanish cultures.

Although the oil spill of 2010 killed 11 people and caused extensive environmental damage in the Gulf of Mexico, her book "Beyond Katrina" and the memorial shown in the image address the impact and aftermath of the hurricane that devastated the region in August 2005, killing 1,836 people in Louisiana and Mississippi. Trethewey acknowledges that the memorial in Biloxi, Mississippi, near her home town of Gulfport, is moving but points out the irony that it was done as part of a television show, since economic decisions before and after the storm increased the impact of the natural disaster on the environment and on families like her own.
7. He was not born in Margaritaville but in Pascagoula, in 1946. What native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast best known for his songwriting skills has made the New York Times bestseller list for both fiction and nonfiction.

Answer: Jimmy Buffett

While he has said that the Margaritaville of his music and writing is "a feeling not a place" Jimmy Buffett was undoubtedly influenced by the place where he was born and grew up along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Pascagoula, Mississippi, where he was born, is closely associated with Biloxi and Gulfport in Mississippi, with Mobile and Gulf Shores in Alabama, and with the maritime culture that stretches from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Florida and beyond to the islands of the Caribbean.

He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg in 1969.

His success has capitalized on the Gulf Coast heritage of sailing and laid-back beach life but also on the tourist and entertainment industries that both finance and threaten that lifestyle.

His books include "A Pirate Looks at Fifty"; "Tales from Margaritaville"; and other fiction and nonfiction.
8. The grandson of an Episcopal priest, he was born in a rectory in Columbus, Mississippi, and spent his early years in a similar setting in Clarksdale, the legendary home town of the Mississippi Delta blues. As a child he was called Tom, but he adopted a pen name based on his father's place of birth. Who was this famous American playwright, who wrote "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", "The Glass Menagerie", "A Streetcar Named Desire", and other highly regarded plays?

Answer: Tennessee Williams

Thomas Lanier (Tennessee) Williams (1911-83) said, "Home is where you hang your childhood, and Mississippi is to me the beauty spot of creation, a dark, wide, spacious land that you can breathe in." His birthplace, Columbus, is in Lowndes County, an area of rolling hills, bluffs, and rich river bottoms, the most important river being the Tombigbee, part of a navigable system including Tennessee to the north and Alabama and the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.

However, it is likely that Williams had more memories to hang on Clarksdale in Coahoma County, across the state in what Mississippi folks call simply "The Delta" - as if there were only one delta in the world - the delta not of the Mississippi River but the Yazoo, containing some of the richest farmland in the country, and (in a book by James Cobb) correctly termed "The most Southern place on earth." Both small cities claim Tennessee Williams and are stops on the Southern Literary Trail; Clarksdale is also the location of the Delta Blues Museum (in the former train depot shown in the image for this question) and several music festivals.

The Tennessee Williams / New Orleans Literary Festival celebrates his time as a young man in the city where his Pulitzer Prize winning drama "A Streetcar Named Desire" is set. St. Louis, Missouri - the setting for "The Glass Menagerie" and for his life between eight years old and young adulthood - also has a festival honoring him.
9. Shelby Foote and his friend Walker Percy grew up together in Greenville, Mississippi. Walker Percy wrote fiction and won numerous awards, including the National Book Award for Fiction in 1962 for the "Moviegoer". Shelby Foote is best known for his historical nonfiction focused on what bloody, divisive war in United States history that included the Siege of Vicksburg?

Answer: The American Civil War

Shelby Foote (1916-2005) and Walker Percy (1916-90) grew up as best friends in Greenville, a city rebuilt after its destruction during the American Civil War on the highest piece of land on the Mississippi River between Vicksburg, Mississippi (the site of a major siege and battle of the war) and Memphis, Tennessee (the metropolitan center of the delta region). Clarksdale, where Tennessee Williams lived as a child, is between Greenville and Memphis, and John Grisham's home is a few counties northeast. Greenville is a two and a half hour drive from Oxford, where Foote - dropping in uninvited - once chatted with William Faulkner on Faulkner's front porch while Percy sat in the car, too overwhelmed by hero worship to approach. Walker Percy was an award-winning writer of fiction.

While Shelby Foote tried his hand at fiction, it was in writing history for ordinary readers that he soared. For Foote, storytelling was the way to make sense of a huge event like the Civil War that still haunted the Mississippi of the 20th Century.

He said, "People make a grievous error thinking that a list of facts is the truth. Facts are just the bare bones out of which truth is made." His three volume work "The Civil War: A Narrative" brings its subject to life, and Foote's contributions to Ken Burns's PBS documentary on the Civil War enhanced understanding of the conflict for a larger audience.
10. Only a few of Eudora Welty's stories are set outside of Mississippi, but her fiction, like her photography done for the government Works Progress Administration under FDR's New Deal, covers many nooks and crannies of the state. Twisting the conventional advice to writers, she cracked, "Write what you don't know about what you know." With a few brief exceptions, Miss Welty lived all her 92 years in what city, the capital of the state she knew best?

Answer: Jackson

Eudora Welty (1909-2001) lived in Jackson, Mississippi, leaving her home city only for a few months at a time. Her earliest home was on Capitol Street in sight of the state capital building (shown in the question on John Grisham in this quiz). The later family home on Pinehurst Street, in which she lived the remainder of her long life from 1925 to 2001, has been designated a National Historic Landmark (pictured with this question).

Her college years in the 1920s were spent in Columbus, Mississippi (where Tennessee Williams had lived as a baby), attending Mississippi State College for Women.

In the 1930s, she traveled around the state taking photographs for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and her pictures and first-hand witness of how people lived during the Great Depression served as inspiration for much of her fiction.

But the house in Jackson was still her home, even when she ventured outside the state. Her narratives are set in different parts of Mississippi: "The Robber Bridegroom" and short stories like "A Worn Path" draw on the Natchez Trace; "Delta Wedding" and other stories are set in the Mississippi Delta in the northwest corner; "Losing Battles" takes the reader to the far northeastern corner, where the land juts into the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains; other novels and stories - including Pulitzer Prize winner "The Optimist's Daughter" - take place somewhere in the middle or further south, vaguely set in fictional places near Jackson or New Orleans.

In one way or another, Eudora Welty was acquainted with virtually every place where the other authors in this quiz lived.
Source: Author nannywoo

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