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Quiz about New York Literary Living
Quiz about New York Literary Living

New York: Literary Living Trivia Quiz

Match author descriptions to names of well-known authors in varied genres. They all love New York!

A matching quiz by Godwit. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Match Quiz
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
9 / 10
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: PurpleComet (10/10), polly656 (10/10), jonnowales (7/10).
(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. Philosopher, novelist, "Atlas Shrugged"...  
  Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
2. Prolific gay novelist, friend of Harper Lee, breakfast and blood...  
  J.D. Salinger
3. Think positive!  
  Antoine De Saint-Exupery
4. French aviator, beloved child's author  
  Truman Capote
5. Awakened British MD, neurological novels  
  Toni Morrison
6. Pulitzer, Nobel Prize, Black with "The Bluest Eye"  
  Zelda Fitzgerald
7. Recluse, adults are phony!  
  Ayn Rand
8. Jazz poet, Harlem, theatre.  
  Wayne Dyer
9. Satire, sci-fi, Dresden bombing  
  Langston Hughes
10. Dazzling Flapper, asylum  
  Oliver Sacks

Select each answer

1. Philosopher, novelist, "Atlas Shrugged"...
2. Prolific gay novelist, friend of Harper Lee, breakfast and blood...
3. Think positive!
4. French aviator, beloved child's author
5. Awakened British MD, neurological novels
6. Pulitzer, Nobel Prize, Black with "The Bluest Eye"
7. Recluse, adults are phony!
8. Jazz poet, Harlem, theatre.
9. Satire, sci-fi, Dresden bombing
10. Dazzling Flapper, asylum

Most Recent Scores
May 08 2024 : PurpleComet: 10/10
May 04 2024 : polly656: 10/10
Apr 12 2024 : jonnowales: 7/10

Score Distribution

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Philosopher, novelist, "Atlas Shrugged"...

Answer: Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand was born in Russia in 1905. Political strife caused her family to lose everything and struggle just to eat. Rand was later able to complete advanced studies, then visited New York City in 1926 and fell in love with it. She lived in Chicago and California but moved to New York in 1951, by then an American citizen, married and a successful author. People gathered at her New York apartment to discuss philosophy and her writings.

Many of the places in her award-winning novel "Atlas Shrugged" are New York City locations.

She was awe-struck by the city, saying one could "kneel" at the sight of its skyline. Given she believed people are at their most noble and heroic when free to create and produce (while sustaining a moral "rational self-interest") her new hometown was fitting.

She was married for 50 years, and died at age 77 in the Big Apple.
2. Prolific gay novelist, friend of Harper Lee, breakfast and blood...

Answer: Truman Capote

Truman Capote was born Truman Streckfus Persons in New Orleans in 1924, but moved to New York City in 1933 and got his first job with "The New Yorker" in 1943. He was there until he annoyed Robert Frost. Capote started writing at age eight and told Johnny Carson in 1975 it was a "peculiar thing" but he "never once got a rejection slip". An American icon, he's known for "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "In Cold Blood".

He was a friend of Harper Lee and helped get her manuscript "To Kill a Mockingbird" published, but then as with many of his friendships, they grew apart.

He died of drug and alcohol abuse. His ashes were stolen several times, recovered, and then scattered by close friends into the waters off New York City.
3. Think positive!

Answer: Wayne Dyer

Wayne Dyer (1940-2015) was a motivational speaker, teacher and author. He grew up in an orphanage in Detroit, Michigan but after a stint in the military became a professor of counseling psychology at St. John's University in New York City. His first book "Your Erroneous Zones" (1976) is among the highest-selling books ever, topping 35 million around the world.

He sent out podcasts from the university, but also toured extensively and wrote books to promote self-love, kindness, and "No excuses!" belief in your capacity to be loving, successful and happy.
4. French aviator, beloved child's author

Answer: Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Antoine De Saint-Exupery (1900-1944) was a French WWII pilot, journalist, and poet who came to New York City in December of 1940 seeking to convince the USA to join the war. He lived along Central Park and elsewhere in town, and also visited Canada from 1941-1943.

While in New York City he wrote a deeply beloved story "The Little Prince" about a pilot stuck in the desert and a magical little prince he meets. Antoine was perhaps friends for a time with US aviator Charles Lindbergh, though Lindbergh wrote adamantly against joining the war. De Saint-Exupery disappeared mysteriously while on a mission in 1944, the mystery partially solved in 2004 when the wreckage of his plane was confirmed.

He wrote many beautiful books, poems and letters, and often read novels and composed writings while in flight.
5. Awakened British MD, neurological novels

Answer: Oliver Sacks

Oliver Wolf Sacks was born 1933 in London to physician parents. He graduated Oxford and moved to California, which he found too "easy and sweet", so he spent the rest of his life in "ugly and violent, ferocious and challenging" New York City. Many of his best-seller books tell of neurological quirks of the brain he encounters in his patients, written in a compassionate, alien and beautiful way. Robin Williams starred in "Awakenings", a film adaptation of the novel, about near-comatose patients Sacks was able to animate, using a new drug.

The conventional doctors often decried Sacks, but he had international readership and admiration. He died in 2015, age 82, saying perhaps death is a "day of rest".
6. Pulitzer, Nobel Prize, Black with "The Bluest Eye"

Answer: Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is an African-American born to hard-working Ohio parents in 1931. She left segregated Washington, D.C. to take a job at "Random House" in Syracuse, New York, the first Black woman to be senior editor in fiction there. She used her position to lift Black literature out of the shadows and into American homes.

She won a Pulitzer Prize, then a Nobel Prize in Literature, and became a professor at Princeton, later a Chair of the University of Albany. She wrote many acclaimed novels such as "The Bluest Eye", and established new venues and workshops for authors in Black literature.

She often works in a studio in a barn, rural New York.
7. Recluse, adults are phony!

Answer: J.D. Salinger

Jerome David Salinger is famed for his novel "Catcher in the Rye" (1951) though he wrote more, including 13 short stories. Born in the city of New York, 1919, he loved a girl, Oona O'Neill, but she married Charlie Chaplain. Salinger then served in the D-Day army, and came home withdrawn.

In 1951 his novel brought him fame and success, but in 1953 he moved to New Hampshire, far up a hill at the end of a rudimentary road, no name on the mailbox, with a shotgun and guard dogs to discourage visitors.

He did court women via letters, younger girls mostly, and married and had children. But he spent most of his day out in the woods, sitting on an old car seat, writing. He died at age 91.
8. Jazz poet, Harlem, theatre.

Answer: Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes (1902-1967) grew up in the US Midwest, attended Columbia but left due to racial prejudice, wandered Europe, then in 1929 returned to New York and made Harlem his lifelong home. He helped create "jazz poetry" and was a "friendly, cooperative" activist for racial equality.

His beautiful poetry provided a new sense of self-love and pride in Black readers worldwide, though angry 1960s activists thought him too soft.
9. Satire, sci-fi, Dresden bombing

Answer: Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. grew up in Indiana with German immigrant parents. His mother committed suicide. Kurt dropped out of Cornell, then was captured and imprisoned in WWII Dresden. He survived the allied bombing in a slaughterhouse three stories underground.

His 6th novel, "Slaughterhouse-Five" (1969) was an instant success, but he wrote 14 novels, five plays, five non-fiction books and many short stories over his career. Vonnegut was a distinguished professor at City College of New York, taught at the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, then settled in New York City in 1971, with his many children.

He died in 2007 in Manhattan when he hit his head on the stairs of his Brownstone. He might have found that satirical and absurd.
10. Dazzling Flapper, asylum

Answer: Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Sayre (Fitzgerald) of Alabama high society enjoyed dancing, poetry and being the center of attention as a child. She rejected proposal by an unknown writer and mere army soldier named F. Scott, but married him just after his first published success.

They became New York City emblems, young and dazzling, drinking and partying, living the high life on Long Island, with long months away in Europe. F. Scott used large portions of her journals and letters in his novels, and was enraged when she published her own book, "Save Me the Waltz".

They both had mental breakdowns and alcoholic binges. He moved to Hollywood and died; she wrote another novel, published some stories, and was killed in a fire in an asylum, 1948. In the 1970s Zelda was renewed, as an author in her own right.

Some compare her to Marilyn Monroe--beautiful, vulnerable, talent unrecognized, wild.
Source: Author Godwit

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