Answers to Literary Trivia

Aside

Below are the answers to this month’s trivia quiz and some background you might find of interest:

1B. At 82 years of age, Canadian short story writer Alice Munro was long overdue for this honor.

2B. While Poe is probably best known these days for his Gothic tales like the Tell-Tale Heart or The Fall of the House of Usher, he is widely credited for invented the detective story or mystery.  Indeed the Mystery Writers of America‘s top prize, the Edgar, is named in his honor. And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was a huge admirer.  Poe did also write science fiction but was not the first to do so.

3E. Annie Dillard attended Hollins University, a women’s college in Roanoke, Virginia. An essayist, poet and novelist, Dillard is particularly known for her gorgeous prose and contemplations on nature, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction for Pilgrim at Tinker Creek at just 28 years of age. Plath and Steinem both attended Smith, Le Guin attended Radcliffe and Wasserstein, of course, Mount Holyoke.

4D. Novels Persuasion and Northanger Abbey were published by Austen’s brother after her passing.  She had worked on and off on both novels for many years.

5C. Agatha Christie remains the world’s best-selling author. Her 82 books have been translated into 44 languages with an estimated four billion copies of her various mysteries  sold.

6D. Jordan Baker was Daisy’s best friend and love interest of Nick Carraway.  African-American dancer and night club star Josephine Baker was the toast of Paris during the 20s and 30s–the same period in which Fitzgerald wrote and coined the term, The Jazz Age.

7D, E, F, C, B, A

8D. James Baldwin began publishing in the mid-40s, about twenty years after the Harlem Renaissance. His best known work today remains Go Tell it On the Mountain.

9B. British author Fowles said the masterful psychological novel in Greece. Perhaps best known for his novel, The French Lieutenant’s Woman thanks to the 1982 movie version starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, Fowles once said that all of his novels, he loved The Magus the best because it was the most flawed.

10D. While Margaret Atwood writes everything from science fiction to historical novels to poetry to literary criticism, Lark and Termite is a novel by Jayne Anne Phillips, about two siblings living in West Virginia in the 1950s during the Korean War and for which Phillips was nominated for the 2009 National Book Award.

11B. Vietnam

12D. While the concept of the tesseract is real, to date no one has been able to bend time and space in such a way to make hyperspace travel possible.

13B, D, A, F, C, E

14. “Absolution” was written by that other brilliant Catholic American short story writer, none other than F. Scott Fitzgerald. Some literary scholars say this story was originally part of one of the earlier drafts of The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald wrote more than 400 short stories, mostly for the Saturday Evening Post, to cover Zelda and his living expenses while he worked on his novels.

Notes and commentary by Sandi Sonnenfeld ’85, Managing Editor of The Lyon Review.

Advertisements

Avid Reader? Test Your Knowledge of Literary Trivia

The Lyon Review has hit a dry spell and sadly doesn’t have any new fiction, poetry or  creative nonfiction to share with you this month. If you recently have written new work or would like new readers for previously published work, please go to Submit Your Work now or send a copy in Word format, along with your class year, and brief bio to marylyonreview@verizon.net.

In the meantime, we thought our subscribers might enjoy playing a little game of literary trivia.  How many of the questions below can you answer correctly? Print this out and write down your responses. You can then check your answers in our Community Forum.

1.  Which of these well-known fiction writers just won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature?
A.  Alice Mattison
B.  Alice Munro
C.  Alice Hoffman
D.  Alice Walker
E.  Alice Sebold

2.  What genre is Edgar Allen Poe credited for “inventing”?
A.  The ghost story
B.  The detective story
C.  The shaggy dog story
D.  The science fiction story
E.  The satiric story

Continue reading

Did You Know?

Aside

Percentage of Female Authors Published Less than Half of Percentage of Published Men

Women make up 80 percent of all fiction readers, yet the number of published women novelists compared to men still remains well-below 50 percent. According to the wonderful women’s arts magazine VIDA, the problem starts with the literary magazines themselves. In 2010, the most recent year studied, The New Yorker published work by 163 women and 449 men. They reviewed 36 novels by men. And women? Just 9 novels. The numbers in Three-Penny Review, another one of the top literary magazines in the country, whose Editor, Wendy Lesser, is ironically a woman, aren’t any better. Stories and creative nonfiction by men: 61. By women: 25.

And according The New Republic writer Ruth Franklin, of the 13 main publishing  houses still in existence in the US, the numbers continue to show a preference for male writers. Only the boutique Penguin imprint Riverhead—came close to parity, with 55 percent of its books by men and 45 percent by women. Random House came in second, with 37 percent by women. It was downhill from there with Norton, Little Brown, and Harper Collins all scoring around 30 percent—and the rest 25 percent and below, including Knopf (23 percent) and FSG (21 percent).

The numbers were even worse for the indie presses, a huge surprise considering that these publishers pride themselves on issuing quality, original, literary work that the mainstream houses won’t. Graywolf, with 25 percent female authors, was the highest-scoring independent. Brooklyn publisher Melville House came in at 20 percent.  Verso was second-to-last at 11 percent and Dalkey Archive Press, came in last: in 2010!!! a mere 10 percent of its authors were female.

For those of us who publish or aspire to publish, it’s time to rev up our engines; support the work of women writers, buy their books, offer to review works by women in your local newspaper, blog or magazines, and most of all share the news when you read a great novel by a woman writer.

And don’t forget to review our list of published MHC alums on our Blog Roll.

And share your own thoughts here….