A writer and a photographer were on assignment from Fortune magazine in 1936 and stayed near Greesboro, Alabama for eight-weeks producing what highly regarded photo-journalistic work?
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee and Walker Evans
The work was set around three white sharecropping families mired in desperate poverty at the time of FDR's New Deal.
In a 1914 mock trial organized by the Dickens Fellowship, the literary character John Jasper was tried for the murder of which other literary character, presumably to achieve a closure to an incomplete mystery?
G. K. Chesterton, best known for the Father Brown mystery stories, was the judge, while George Bernard Shaw was the foreman of the jury, made up of other authors. The Mystery of Edwin Drood is the final and incomplete novel by Charles Dickens in which the focus is on Drood's uncle, choirmaster John Jasper.
Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky a current-day husband and wife team are known for what type of contribution to literature?
Most of their translations are of works in Russian, but also French, Italian, and Greek.
Writer John Dickson Carr who published many acclaimed thrillers including The Hollow Man specialized in what sub-genre of detective mysteries?
The Hollow Man was selected in 1981 as the best locked-room mystery of all time by a panel of 17 mystery authors and reviewers.
Which person who supposedly sailed on Lord Ligonier that arrived at Annapolis in September 1767 had his life dramatized in a book as well as a television series?
Kunta Kinte (Roots)
According to a legend, which German alchemist later immortalized in literature rode a wine barrel from the Auerbach's Cellar into Leipiz's streets, a feat clearly beyond ordinary human capability?
Dr. (Johann Georg) Faust
The cellar is described in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's play Faust I as the first place Mephistopheles takes Faust on their travels.
What are the first two lines of the poem Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox whose next lines are shown below?
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own..."
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
The idea for the poem came as she was travelling to attend a ball. On her way to the celebration, there was a young woman dressed in black sitting across the aisle from her. The woman was crying. Miss Wheeler sat next to her and sought to comfort her for the rest of the journey. When they arrived, the poet was so unhappy that she could barely attend the festivities. As she looked at her own face in the mirror, she suddenly recalled the sorrowful widow. It was at that moment that she wrote the opening lines of the poem which was first published in a 1883 issue of The New York Sun.
Who is the popular contemporary author who is on an on-going mission to 'prove' that English painter Walter Sickert is the actual Jack the Ripper?
Patricia Cornwell (creator of Dr. Kay Scarpetta)
She wrote Portrait of a Killer—Jack the Ripper: Case Closed, which was published in 2002 to much controversy.
The main elements of what beloved series came from the author's boarding school experience of lining up in two perfectly straight lines to go anywhere and from his meeting someone who had their appendix removed?
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Lapine, which is derived from the French word for rabbit, is the language spoken by the characters of what 1972 novel?
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Set in south-central England, the story features a small group of rabbits. Although they live in their natural environment, they are anthropomorphised.
For the title of his year 2000 book whose plot features a war between Russia and China, author Tom Clancy used the names of what animals?
Bear and dragon (The Bear and the Dragon)
The 19th century invention Paige Compositor sought to replace the typewriter but ended up becoming a failure. Which American author lost nearly all his fortune for its development?
He invested not only the bulk of his book profits but also a large portion of the inheritance of his wife.
John Nettleship who himself admitted in an interview that he was “a short-tempered chemistry teacher with long hair…[and a] gloomy, malodorous laboratory” served as an inspiration for what literary character of modern times?
Severus Snape from the Harry Potter world
Who was the English editor and avid compiler of military information who published All the World's Fighting Ships in 1898?
John F. T. Jane
Namesake of Jane's Defense Weekly, among others.
In an interview to The Paris Review, which author talking about his acclaimed 1989 book said that he used the role of an English butler as a metaphor for emotional frostiness and reserve?
Kazuo Ishiguro (about The Remains of the Day)
When the novel The Mad Tryst is being read at a sitting, the residence that the dwellers are in begins to collapse in what classic story?
The Fall of the House of Usher (1839) by Poe
It is considered the best example of Poe's "totality", where every element and detail is related and relevant.
Captain George Pollard, Jr., who inspired an all-time great 1851 novel, was the captain of Essex that was attacked and sunk by what?
Inspiring Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.
Who is the popular author who served as Chancellor of Moratuwa University in Sri Lanka from 1979 to 2002?
Arthur C. Clarke
Clarke emigrated to Sri Lanka in 1956, largely to pursue his interest in scuba diving.
According to a 1864 adventure novel, Saknussemm's Corridor in an extinct volcano in Iceland is the place to start if you seek to go where?
Center of the earth
In Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. After their adventures, the travelers emerge out in southern Italy at the Stromboli volcano.
American poet Dixon Lanier Merritt's well-known limerick is about what bird?
A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I'm damned if I see how the helican!
Algernon Blackwood's 1907 story, called by H. P. Lovecraft as the "finest supernatural tale in English literature" is titled after what type of trees? (hint: cricket)
In which Somerset Maugham's short-story does missionary Alfred Davidson try to reform a prostitute but ultimately succumbs to her charm?
It was made into a 1932 film starring Joan Crawford and Walter Huston.
What is the title of the 1984 Leon Uris novel about a Palestinian Arab that refers both to the physical journey undertaken by him as well as to the psychological effects of life's experiences?
What is the name of the vessel in Paul Gallico's 1969 adventure novel that has been adapted as a film four times?
It concerns the capsizing of a luxurious ocean liner, the SS Poseidon, due to an undersea earthquake, and the desperate struggles of a handful of survivors to reach the bottom of the liner's hull before the ship sinks. The adaptations were in 1972, 1976, 2005, and 2006.
The division of Penguin that deals with science fiction and fantasy books started in 2002 with what fantastical avian name? (hint: Stravinsky)
The hint refers to the ballet, of course.
Polynesia the parrot teaches animal language to what literary character?
The name of what literary swashbuckler is the answer to the final question in the Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire?
The protagonist Jamal randomly picks the right answer and wins the grand prize.
Farley Mowat's 1963 book that changed public perception of the Arctic wolf references what Aesop fable in its title?
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
Mowat's book is Never Cry Wolf.
Which prolific author created a men-only dining group called The Black Widowers for a series of mystery stories?
Most of the sixty-six stories follow the same basic convention: the six club members meet once a month at a private room at the Milano restaurant in New York.
The phrase 'motiveless malignity' was used by S. T. Coleridge to describe which diabolic villain of literature?
A 1978 contemplative travel book of Peter Matthiessen concerned him tracking what elusive creature of the Himalayas?
A 1986 book on the pivotal role of six Cold War diplomats including Dean Acheson and George Kennan had what title evoking a certain Biblical trio?
The Wise Men
The unique 'villains' of what celebrated 1963 children's book came about when the author realized he could not draw horses and was inspired by an Yiddish expression "vilde chaya" ("wild animals")?
Where the Wild Things Are by Sendak
He replaced the horses with caricatures of his aunts and uncles.
What play by Michael Frayn that takes the name of a European city has the spirits of Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr and Bohr's wife converse on myriad topics?
It won the Tony Award for Best Play.
Just as Edward Bulwer-Lytton is associated with bombastic writing, what is the similarly famous poem of William McGonagall?
The Tay Bridge Disaster
McGonagall is widely acclaimed as the worst poet in history.
In Alan Moore's graphic novel V for Vendetta the anarchist wears a mask of which real-life person?
Dostoevsky's The Idiot begins and ends with Prince Myshkin at what type of place?
As his very goodness precipitates disaster, the story suggests that in a world obsessed with money, power, and sexual conquest, a sanatorium may be the only place for a saint.
What is particularly common to the narrators of the Edgar Allan Poe stories The Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado?
Narrators are murderers
What French novel is said to based on an epidemic that hit the Algerian city of Oran in 1849?
The Plague by Camus
Camus was born in Algeria and lived for several years there.
A crowned figure clutching a sword and a crosier is seen in the top part on the cover of what important philosophical work of the 17th century?
Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
The lower portion of the cover is is a triptych, framed in a wooden border.
Fox Tor in Dartmoor, England is the inspiration for the fictional Grimpen Mire, home of what fearsome titular beast?
The Hound of the Bakervilles
This wide expanse of peat bog continues to be dangerous to walkers, especially after heavy rain.
How is Henry Sweet, a rude phonetics scholar known for introducing the Broad Romic alphabet immortalized in literature?
As Henry Higgins in Shaw's Pygmalion
The award winning 2005 children's book And Tango Makes Three has been subject to much controversy as it was seen to be highlighting what behavior in the animal kingdom?
The book is based on the true story of Roy and Silo, two male Chinstrap Penguins in New York's Central Park Zoo. Due to the penguin parents being of the same sex, some adults in the United States have objected to children reading the book.
Whose interview in Life magazine is said to have led to an upsurge in the sales of James Bond books? After a private screening of Dr. No, he also reportedly said "I wish I had had James Bond on my staff."
In technical terms, the unforgettable Jeeves of P. G. Wodehouse is a valet and not a butler. Why?
He serves a man and not a household
In The Shawshank Redemption when the inmates are organizing books for their library, when told that this classic French novel is about prison break, Morgan Freeman suggests it be filed under education.
The Count of Monte Cristo
In March 1989, Britain and Iran broke diplomatic relations over what reason related to literature?
Fatwa on Salman Rushdie
The publication of The Satanic Verses in September 1988 caused immediate controversy in the Islamic world because of what was perceived as an irreverent depiction of the prophet Muhammad.
In a children's classic by Arthur Ransome published in 1930, what are the names of the ships sailed by the Walker children and the Blackett children?
Swallow and Amazon
The series of 12 books starts with Swallows and Amazons. They involve adventures by groups of children almost all during the school holidays and mostly in England and Scotland, between the two World Wars. The stories revolve around outdoor activities, especially sailing.
Polydactyl cats (born with more than the usual number of toes) are associated with which writer who was known for his love for them?
One of them was first given to him by a ship's captain. Upon Hemingway's death in 1961, his former home in Key West, Florida, became a museum and a home for his cats, and it currently houses approximately fifty descendants of his cats.
What atmospheric 1994 American best-seller set in Georgia became known for its striking cover of the sculpture of a girl holding two bowls?
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
What is the subject of the best-known works of writers Theodor Mommsen and Edward Gibbon?
Mommsen published over 1,500 works, and effectively established a new framework for the systematic study of Roman history. Gibbon's important work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788.
The cover of the best-selling book Freakonomics features what two 'distinct' objects?
An apple and an orange!
Very appropriate for the contents within.
What sonnet of Irish poet Seamus Heaney, a tribute to a long-running bulletin from BBC, starts as "Dogger, Rockall, Malin, Irish Sea"?
The Shipping Forecast
In the 2012 opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in London, the shipping forecast was played in the opening part of the production with Elgar's 'Nimrod' to represent the British Isles. It is immensely popular with the British public and it daily attracts listeners in the hundreds of thousands.
What 1956 children's work, also adapted by Disney, was written when a friend remarked to an author that her dappled dogs would make a lovely fur coat?
The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
In the book, the dogs are kidnapped for their fur.
Great short-stories like The Gift of the Magi, The Ransom of Red Chief, and The Cop and the Anthem are from what collection of O. Henry that was a reaction to a statement that only four hundred people mattered in New York?
The Four Million
The collection opens as "assertion that there were only 'Four Hundred' people in New York City who were really worth noticing. But a wiser man has arisen-the census taker-and his larger estimate of human interest has been preferred in marking out the field of these little stories of the 'Four Million.'"
What is the name of the castle in Mervyn Peake's series of fantasy novels that has now come to mean any sprawling complex?
In the books, it is home to the ancient House of Groan.
When a play called The Rules of the Game is about to start on stage, it is interrupted by half-a-dozen people making outrageous demands.
What absurdist play starts this way?
Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921) by Luigi Pirandello
An absurdist metatheatrical play about the relationship between authors, their characters, and theatre practitioners
The 1968 children's story Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel is a humorous take on the perils of what?
It is a sort of origin myth about why Chinese names are so short today.
Chekov's play Three Sisters is said to have been inspired by which real life siblings?
The 42nd Parallel, 1919, and The Big Money make up what trilogy of 'American' literature?
U.S.A. trilogy by John Dos Passos
It covers the historical development of American society during the first three decades of the twentieth century.
Jim Corbett in whose honor India's first national park was renamed in 1957 is famous for doing what?
Hunting man-eating animals, mostly big cats
Corbett authored the Man-Eaters of Kumaon, Jungle Lore and other books recounting his hunts and experiences, which enjoyed much critical acclaim and commercial success. He later became a conservationist.
George Orwell in his whimsical 1946 essay Decline of the English Murders considers high profile cases like Dr. Palmer of Rugeley, Neill Cream, and several more but leaves out whose notable spree saying it was "in a class by itself"?
Jack the Ripper's
The essay is not essentially about murders, but about British habits.
Misselthwaite Manor is the chief locale of what beloved children's novel that tells the coming of age story of Mary Lennox?
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The garden is the book's central symbol, inspired by Burnett's interest in Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science theories. The secret garden at Misselthwaite Manor is the site of both the near-destruction and the subsequent regeneration of a family.
According to a website promoting Norway, who is claimed to be the most widely performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare?
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)
He wrote his plays in Danish (the common written language of Denmark and Norway).
What care-free place was said to have been inspired by the writings of National Geographic explorer Joseph Rock who traveled widely in Tibet in the 1920s?
Shangri-La (from James Hilton's Lost Horizon)
The remote communities Rock visited show many similarities to the fictional Shangri-La.
The Adventure of the Speckled Band, The Adventure of the Red-Headed League and The Adventure of the Dancing Men were listed as the top-3 of his own work by whom?
Arthur Conan Doyle talking about his favorite Holmes' story
The year 1819 is significant for lovers of English poetry because of the publication of six famous odes by whom?
John Keats (1795-1821)
Keats wrote the first five poems, Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode on Indolence, Ode on Melancholy, Ode to a Nightingale, and Ode to Psyche during the spring, and he composed To Autumn in September.
In what great 20th century novel does Rose of Sharon having lost her baby offer milk from her breasts to a starving man?
The Grapes of Wrath (1939) by John Steinbeck
Which writer wrote the introduction for Robert Frank's influential photography book The Americans (1958) that contained images from Frank's travels across the US?
Though sales were also poor at first, Kerouac's introduction helped it reach a larger audience because of the popularity of the Beat phenomenon.
What 1907 supposedly children's book contains some not-so politically correct tales like Matilda: Who told Lies, and was Burned to Death and Jim: Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion?
Cautionary Tales for Children by Hilaire Belloc
It is a parody of the cautionary tales that were popular in the 19th century.
Not many have heard the Canadian deathrock band 'A Spectre Is Haunting Europe' but the publication from whose first line the band took its name has definitely been heard. What influential 1848 work?
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
The work begins 'A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.'
In Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola, the children's tale of magic gone awry, a town in Italy is buried in an avalanche of what?
The book won a Caldecott Honor in 1976.
What 1927 German novel details the experiences of Harry Heller who tries to reconcile his conflicting persona of a high spiritual nature as well as a low beastly spirit?
Steppenwolf by Hesse
Roma - $97,000
Moss - $22,000
Levene - $82,000 (then erased to nothing)
Aaronow - $4000
What play has the above appear on a blackboard in the stage scenery in an act?
Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet
What 1904 story by M. R. James in which the protagonist finds an antique artifact with undesirable consequences gets its ominously inviting title from a 1793 Robert Burns poem/song?
Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad
The story tells the tale of an introverted academic who happens upon a strange whistle which when blown unleashes a supernatural force.
At the funeral of former Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau in 2000, his eldest son referenced a literary work and said "___ ___ ___ ___, ___ ___ ___. He has kept his promises and earned his sleep." What are the missing words?
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep"
From Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost.
After the fall of Troy, Aeneas wanders around various places including hell and reaches Italy. Hence whoever wrote about his adventures must be familiar with the realms of hell.
What question about companionship in a 14th century classic can be explained thus?
Why did Dante choose Virgil as a guide in The Divine Comedy?
It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature.
Which literary character got his name from the wolves of Seeonee Hills as they thought he jumped around like a little frog just as they saved him from the clutches of a tiger? (hint: the tiger would be his main enemy in the story)
Mowgli (note that the name does not mean 'frog')
He is a feral child from Pench area in Central India who originally appeared in Rudyard Kipling's short story In the Rukh and then went on to become the most prominent and memorable character in The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book. Lost by his parents in the Indian jungle during a tiger attack, he is adopted by the wolves Mother (Raksha) and Father Wolf, who call him Mowgli the Frog because of his lack of fur and his refusal to sit still.
What is the missing name in Chinese writer Wang Dulu's five-part epic wuxia-romance series, often called the Crane-Iron Series?
1. Crane Frightens Kunlun
2. Precious Sword, Golden Hairpin
3. Sword Force, Pearl Shine
4. ___ ___, ___ ___
5. Iron Knight, Silver Vase
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Ang Lee's 2000 film includes episodes and information from some of the other books in the series, apart from the novel which shares the same title as the film.
What most-rejected 1974 bestseller describes the 17-day journey of the author (who calls himself Phaedrus) and his son Chris from Minnesota to California?
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
The trip is punctuated by numerous philosophical discussions. The book was originally rejected by 121 publishers, more than any other bestselling book, according to the Guinness Book.
What 1941 short-story by a noted South American writer is said to have introduced the genre of hypertext fiction, one in which the story can be read in multiple ways?
The Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges
The story of what acclaimed 1962 novel is that of writer Anna Wulf who keeps a record of her life in four journals and attempt to tie them all together in a fifth one?
The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
The book also contains a powerful anti-war and anti-Stalinist message, an extended analysis of communism and the Communist Party in England from the 1930s to the 1950s, and a famed examination of the budding sexual and women's liberation movements.
What 1949 American work that is now a benchmark of the ecological movement is best known for the quote "A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise."?
A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
Describing the land around the author's home in Sauk County, Wisconsin, the collection of essays advocate Leopold's idea of a "land ethic", or a responsible relationship existing between people and the land they inhabit. In a 1990 poll of the membership by the American Nature Study Society, A Sand County Almanac and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring stand alone as the two most venerated and significant environmental books of the 20th century.
The following dialogue, potent enough to make one give up quizzing, is addressed to Guy Montag in what dystopian classic of the 20th century?
"Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of 'facts' they fell stuffed, but absolutely 'brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving. And they'll be happy, because facts of that sort don't change."
Fahrenheit 451 (1953) by Ray Bradbury
Bradbury has stated that the novel is not about censorship, but a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature, which leads to a perception of knowledge as being composed of factoids, partial information devoid of context.
What 300 BC book from ancient Greece that was essential reading for students for centuries was said to be second only to the Bible in the number of editions published?
The Battle of Kurukshetra fought between two groups of cousins is the centerpiece of what classic of world literature?
The Mahabharata by Vyasa
It is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana.
A controversial 1994 book by psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein whose premise is that genes and environment are predictors of intelligence is titled after what statistical function?
The book was controversial, especially those parts in which the authors wrote about racial differences in intelligence and discussed the implications of those differences. The authors were reported throughout the popular press as arguing that these IQ differences are genetic.
In 1837, which literary great had his last meal at the Literaturnoe Kafe in St. Petersburg after which he went on to fight (and lose) a duel?
Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837)
He fought with his wife's alleged lover and lost his life after sustaining wounds.
The British explorer and hunter Frederick Selous was the inspiration behind what adventurous character of 19th century literature? (hint: this character is also one of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen)
Allan Quatermain from King Solomon's Mines
The English bishop Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626) is best known for overseeing what literary task during the reign of King James I?
Translation of the Authorized Version (King James Version) of the Bible
A translation of Roman poet Juvenal's quote "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" inspired the title of what book, the only one of its kind in Time's 2005 list of all-time greatest novels?
The graphic novel Watchmen by Alan Moore (artist Dave Gibbons and colorist John Higgins)
The novel depicts an alternate history where superheroes emerged in the 1940s and 1960s, helping the United States to win the Vietnam War. The literal translation of Juvenal's quote is "Who will guard the guards themselves?" but it is popularly rendered as "Who watches the watchmen?"
The 1994 murder of a 14-year-old girl for ritualistic purposes in Botswana inspired the first book of what best-selling series?
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
The main character is Mma Precious Ramotswe, who features as the stories' protagonist and main detective.
Duc de Blangis, the Bishop, the Président de Curval and Durcet are the four libertines who seek extreme gratification by isolating themselves with a harem in the castle of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, France in what controversial 1785 book?
The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade
Due to its themes of sexual violence and extreme cruelty, it has frequently been banned.
The central character of which 1919 novel is the reporter George Willard to whom the denizens of a certain American Midwest town confide their secrets?
Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
Fill in the 3-word question at the end of this following extract taken from Betty Friedan's 1963 classic The Feminine Mystique.
The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night - she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question - ___ ___ ___
Is this all?
The book is widely credited with sparking the beginning of second-wave feminism in the United States.
The text of what ancient classic is a set of oracular statements represented by 64 sets of six hexagrams, with each hexagram in turn composed of six lines of Yangs or Yins?
It is also known as the Classic of Changes, Book of Changes and Zhouyi and has a significant influence on the culture of China.
A trick-performing goat named Djali is the pet of the gypsy girl who is one of the main characters in what 19th century classic?
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
The goat belongs to Esmeralda, or La Esmeralda whose birth name is Agnes.
Which doomed lady of the literature of realism is married to Charles and has affairs with Rodolphe Boulanger and Léon Dupuis?
Emma Bovary from Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Long established as one of the greatest novels ever written, the book has often been described as a 'perfect' work of fiction.
During the Siege of Sarajevo in the 90s, Susan Sontag directed what play in a candlelit theater symbolizing the city's absurd anticipation of western intervention?
Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot
In what 1959 classic of German literature do people go to a bar called the Onion Cellar to share memories and peel onions, both to make crying easier and to mitigate the shame for openly expressing their feelings?
The Tin Drum by Günter Grass
What is the better known nickname of Greg Heffley whose hilarious memoirs are now a hit book franchise?
The series is Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.
After this novel was published in the country it was set in, the author was sued by Mineko Iwasaki claiming that the author violated their agreement to protect her anonymity if she told him about her life and profession.
What is this 1997 novel that chronicles the pursuit of Chiyo Sakamoto to become an entertainer?
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Golden listed Iwasaki as a source in his acknowledgments for the novel, causing her to face a serious backlash. In 2003, Golden's publisher settled with Iwasaki out of court for an undisclosed sum of money. Iwasaki later went on to write her own autobiography, which shows a very different picture of twentieth-century geisha life than the one shown in Golden's novel. The book was published as Geisha, a Life in the U.S. and Geisha of Gion in the U.K.
What classic of world literature contains a passage titled The Grand Inquisitor in which the monk Alyosha is questioned about the existence of god?
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
What is the opening sentence of the book that ends with "It was the devious-cruising Rachel, that in her retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan."?
"Call me Ishmael."
From Moby-Dick, of course.
What ambiguous 1898 ghost story ends with the governess of Bly House holding the body of a dead child in her hands?
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Talking about the creation of what word did a 20th century author claim he was uninfluenced by existing folklore and wrote "I have no waking recollection of furry pigmies ... And I protest that my ___ did not live in Africa, and was not furry, except about the feet."?
The Oxford English Dictionary since the 1970s has credited Tolkien with the invention of the word. Since then, however, it has been noted that there is prior evidence of the word, in a 19th century list of legendary creatures.
What popular motivational series got its title from its author remembering his grandmothers' words that what she was serving him would cure anything?
Chicken Soup for the Soul
It was started by speakers Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield.
What memoirs of Hemingway take their title from what he said to a friend: "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is ___ ___ ___."?
A Moveable Feast
It is about his years in Paris as part of the American expatriate circle of writers in the 1920s.
If 221B Baker Street is to Sherlock Holmes, 9 Bywater Street, Chelsea is to whom?
At the time the Holmes stories were published, 221B Baker Street did not exist but Smiley's address is an actual existing address.
Eliza Donnithorne (1827-1886) who lived in Sydney was jilted by her groom on her wedding day and spent the rest of her life in a darkened house. She is believed to be the basis for which eerie character of Victorian times literature?
Miss Havisham from Great Expectations
Dickens though never visited Australia.
London to Suez = a;
Suez to Bombay = b;
Bombay to Calcutta = c;
Calcutta to Hong Kong = d;
Hong Kong to Yokohoma = e;
Yokohama to San Francisco = f;
San Francisco to New York City = g;
New York to London = h.
In terms of 19th century adventure time, a + b + c + d + e + f + g + h = ?
The proposed schedule in Verne's classic Around the World in Eighty Days.
Pay your dues. According to a theory, the title figure of what classic tale is said to be based on Nicholas of Cologne who supposedly lured away children for the Children's Crusade?
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
The Narrow Road to the Deep North is the classic work of which Japanese poet who is best known for a particular short form of poetry?
Matsuo Bashō (known for his haiku verses)
What seminal work of the 20th century opens with a fantasy called Irma's injection and is the focus of analysis throughout the book?
The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud
The global think tank that attracted considerable attention with its 1972 publication of The Limits of Growth is called 'The Club of' what European city?
The book is about the computer modeling of unchecked economic and population growth with finite resource supplies. It predicted that economic growth could not continue indefinitely because of the limited availability of natural resources, particularly oil.
What 20th century German novel that traces the spiritual journey of a protagonist contains twelve chapters relating to the Four Noble Truths and the Eight Fold Path of a belief system?
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
A major preoccupation of Hesse in writing the book was to cure his 'sickness with life' (Lebenskrankheit) by immersing himself in Indian philosophy such as that expanded in the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita.
In a letter dated dated 1 November, 1889, which author wrote "One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it."?
Chekhov's gun is the term for a literary technique whereby an apparently irrelevant element is introduced early in the story whose significance becomes clear later in the narrative. It is often interpreted as a method of foreshadowing, but the concept can also be interpreted as meaning "do not include any unnecessary elements in a story."
What 1874 nonsense poem in which the objective is to find an 'inconceivable creature' features a crew of ten whose descriptions all begin with the letter B? (hint: not Jabberwocky)
The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll
The poem introduces the Bellman's rule-of-three: What I tell you three times is true.
Lord Ruthven is the title character of what 1819 story/novella that created a genre whose legacy continues through the books of Anne Rice and Stephenie Meyer?
The Vampyre by John William Polidori
The story is regarded as a progenitor of the romantic vampire genre of fantasy fiction.
What 1996 American novel that includes hundreds of end-notes takes its title from a dialogue in Hamlet in which Hamlet refers to Yorick as a fellow of this kind?
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
The dialogue is when Hamlet holds the skull of the court jester, Yorick, and says "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is!" In 2005, Time included Infinite Jest in its list of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present.
Which loathsome character of English literature is thought to be partially based on a 19th century Jewish criminal named Ikey Solomon, who was once interviewed by Dickens?
Fagin from Oliver Twist
The novel refers to Fagin 257 times in the first 38 chapters as 'the Jew', while the ethnicity or religion of the other characters is rarely mentioned. After receiving a complaint, Dickens barely used the word to describe Fagin as such in the next 179 references in the further serialization of the novel.
In what great work of literature do thirty-one wayfarers engage in a story-telling contest whose prize is a free meal at the Tabard Inn upon their return?
The Canterbury Tales (1387) by Geoffrey Chaucer
The participants are a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. Structurally, the collection resembles The Decameron, which Chaucer may have known during his first diplomatic mission to Italy in 1372.
The slave girl Morgiana, the protagonist's elder brother Cassim and the cobbler Baba Mustafa are three prominent characters in what 'seedy' oriental story?
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
Some critics believe that this story was added to One Thousand and One Nights by one of its European translators.
A fictional species of great apes called 'Mangani' are responsible for raising which popular character?
The Mangani language is depicted as a primal universal language shared by a number of primate species in the books.
What 1899 poem of Rudyard Kipling whose racist title alludes to Western aspirations to dominate the developing world was written after the American colonization of the Philippines?
The White Man's Burden
Although the poem mixed exhortation with sober warnings of the costs involved, imperialists within the United States understood the phrase as justifying imperialism as a noble enterprise.
The 5th Wave cartoons by Rich Tennant are interspersed throughout the books of what reference series?
The name of the cartoon comes from Future Shock by Alvin Toffler.
What 1818 classic was written after its author listened to Shelley and Byron argue about whether human life can be created artificially using electricity?
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley was Percy Shelley's wife.
What noted work of holocaust literature was first published in Yiddish as Un di Velt Hot Geshvign (And the World Remained Silent) only in 1955 as the author vowed not to speak of his concentration camp experiences for ten years?
Night by Elie Wiesel
It is the first book in a trilogy - Night, Dawn, and Day - reflecting Wiesel's state of mind during and after the Holocaust.
Goodgulf Greyteeth, Dildo Bugger, Frito Bugger and Spam Gangree are some of the characters in a parody of what book? Extra points if you can name the parody!
The Lord of the Rings (Bored of the Rings is the parody)
Bored of the Rings was written by Henry N. Beard and Douglas C. Kenney, who later founded National Lampoon. It was published in 1969 by Signet for the Harvard Lampoon.
The French commune of Illiers adopted the name Illiers-Combray in homage to which author whose vivid recreation of the town (through recollection) opens his vast magnum opus?
Known for In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past of course.
What 1903 classic that traces a life from domestication to wilderness was said to have been inspired by/plagiarized from My Dogs in the Northland by Egerton R. Young?
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
London acknowledged using it as a source and claimed to have written a letter to Young thanking him.
Fill in the next line from an all-time great work of English literature.
"...Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
"Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n"
From Paradise Lost, of course.
'Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy' and 'Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend' are two of the commandments of the protagonists in which 20th century classic?
Animal Farm by George Orwell
A 2005 book by Michael Wex focusing on Yiddish as a language of opposition and aggravation is titled Born to ___ do what?
The Yiddish word 'kvetch' means 'to complain/to whine.'
The name of what fictional land has been linked to (among others) the nickname of Dickens, a Shelley poem, the Biblical home of Job and to what its creator saw on a file cabinet?
Nickname of Dickens - Boz, Shelley poem - Ozymandias, Biblical home of Job - Land of Uz, what Baum saw on a file cabinet - O-Z. Snopes.com lists the origin as undetermined.
A man named Pahóm runs all day to accumulate as much land as he can but drops dead at sunset from exhaustion thus answering the title question of what classic story by Leo Tolstoy?
How Much Land Does a Man Need?
James Joyce once called it "the greatest story that the literature of the world knows."
Fill in the missing word in this famous quote of Jorge Luis Borges that is very appropriate coming from a writer!
"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of ___."
It is from his Poema de los Dones (Poem of the Gifts) that he wrote after going blind. The poem talks about the the irony of God making him blind but giving him the love of books.
A museum outside Nairobi was donated by the Danish government in 1964 to the new Kenyan government as an independence gift. It was originally a residence of which writer?
Isak Dinesen/ Karen Blixen
She is of course best known for Out of Africa.
The plot of what genre-defining story has its genesis in the inspiration that its author got from the reaction of the public to an orangutan display in Philadelphia in 1839?
The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe
It has been claimed as the first detective story.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Water Margin, Journey to the West and Dream of the Red Chamber are the four novels considered as the most influential of the fiction of the literature of which country?
The works are considered to be the pinnacle of China's achievement in classical novels, influencing the creation of many stories, theater, movies, games, and other entertainment throughout East Asia.
What 1953 short story by Isaac Singer tells the story of a simpleton bread-maker who is cheated by everyone his entire life but still retains his goodness?
Gimpel the Fool
It was translated from Yiddish into English by Saul Bellow.
The followers of what movement regard the publication of the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health as a key historical event and refer to it as 'Book One'?
All covers of post-1967 editions of the book feature an exploding volcano.
What 1961 novel set on the island of Pianosa in the Mediterranean was written after its author was influenced by the classic 1923 anti-war satire The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek?
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The novel follows Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier, and a number of other characters. Most events occur while the Airmen of the fictional 256th squadron are based on the said island.
No sleuthing allowed. What struggling doctor wrote The Narrative of John Smith that was published in 2011 about 130 years after it was first written?
Arthur Conan Doyle
The book was written in 1883 and 1884, a few years before the publication of A Study In Scarlet, the first story to feature Holmes.
Jean Bastien-Thiry's assassination attempt on Charles de Gaulle in 1962 is the main inspiration behind what 1971 all-time great thriller?
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Which Victorian literary character's immortal words are these?
"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
Mr. Micawber from David Copperfield
He was modelled on Dickens' father, John Dickens.
What concocted 1903 text that asserts a Jewish plan to take over the world is sometimes cited as Hitler's justification for the Holocaust?
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
It was studied, as if factual, in German classrooms after the Nazis came to power in 1933, despite having been exposed as fraudulent years before. It was first published in Russia in 1903, translated into multiple languages, and disseminated internationally in the early part of the twentieth century. Henry Ford funded printing of 500,000 copies which were distributed throughout the United States in the 1920s.
Which 17th century literary classic ends with the title character stipulating in his will that his niece will be disinherited if she marries anyone who reads about chivalry?
Fill in the missing two words in the key sentence in Camus's The Stranger in which the main character Mersault finds peace in the realization that life has no meaning.
"It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the ___ ___ of the universe."
In the original French, the sentence is "la tendre indifférence du monde." The word 'gentle' replaces 'benign' in another translation.
What term that is a mechanism for the disappearance of inconvenient documents comes from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four in which it is a slot into which officials deposit records to be destroyed?
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the memory hole is a small chute leading to a large incinerator used for censorship.
What influential 1890 muckraking book takes its title from a sentence in François Rabelais's Pantagruel that goes "one half of the world does not know ___ ___ ___ ___ ___"?
How the Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis
It documented the squalid living conditions in New York City slums in the 1880s. Due to the recent invention of flash photography, Riis was able to capture the unlit areas of tenements and expose wretched working and living conditions.
According to J. K. Rowling's Quidditch Through the Ages, what are said to be more popular than broomsticks for playing Quidditch in India, Pakistan and Iran?
Which 1895 poem, probably the best evocation of Victorian stoicism was once called "the essence of the message of The Gita (Bhagavad Gita) in English"?
If- by Rudyard Kipling
The poem's line, "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same" is written on the wall of the Centre Court players' entrance at Wimbledon.
Who wrote the 1942 short story Runaround that lists three laws one of which is stated below?
'A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm'
The Three Laws form an organizing principle and unifying theme for Asimov's fiction. Runaround is notable for featuring the first explicit appearance of the Three Laws of Robotics, which had hitherto only been implied in Asimov's robot stories.
The main characters in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume One are Mina Murray, Allan Quatermain, Hawley Griffin, Jekyll/Hyde and Captain Nemo. Of these, everyone knows the books from where Jekyll/Hyde and Captain Nemo come from. What about the rest?
Mina Murray from Dracula, Allan Quatermain from King Solomon's Mines and Hawley Griffin from The Invisible Man
Michel de Montaigne of France is best known for popularizing what kind of writing as a literary genre?
He became famous for his ability to merge serious intellectual speculation with anecdotes. His volume Essais (translated literally as Attempts) contains some of the most widely influential essays ever written.
What book published in 1922 has the following introduction?
"Some Englishmen, of whom Kitchener was chief, believed that a rebellion of Arabs against Turks would enable England, while fighting Germany, simultaneously to defeat Turkey."
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia")
The book was called "a novel traveling under the cover of autobiography," and is Lawrence's personal version of the historical events of the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks of 1916 to 1918.
In what story of Arthur C. Clarke do Tibetan monks seek to list all the names of God as they believe He will bring the Universe to an end once this is done?
The Nine Billion Names of God
The story was the winner (in 2004) of the retrospective Hugo Award for Best Short Story for the year 1954 and also received a response from Dalai Lama.
Similar to John Reed's Ten Days that Shook the World, which influential 1930s book by Edgar Snow is an account of the Communist Party of China?
Red Star Over China
Along with Pearl Buck's The Good Earth, it was the most influential book on Western understanding and sympathy for China in the 1930s.
Which 1853 narrative poem of Matthew Arnold set in the orient tells the story of two feuding warrior-generals who, unknown to both, happen to be father and son?
Sohrab and Rustum
Which 1902 short story by W. W. Jacobs is based on the premise of three wishes coming true but with an enormous price for interfering with fate?
The Monkey's Paw
In a searing essay titled Uncle Remus, No Friend of Mine, Alice Walker accused which other African-American author of "stealing a good part of my heritage"?
Joel Chandler Harris, known for recording Brer Rabbit stories
The murder of landlady Alena and the angst it causes in the psyche of the perpetrator is central to the plot of which 1866 literary classic?
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
William Golding's Lord of the Flies was written as a response to which 1857 adventure novel by R. M. Ballantyne because Golding disagreed with the views that the book held?
The Coral Island
Which recent literary Nobel laureate wrote in one of his memoirs "Istanbul's fate is my fate"?
Pamuk is the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006 - the first Nobel Prize to be awarded to a Turkish citizen.
What is the title of the acclaimed tetralogy of novels by Lawrence Durrell that are set in an African port city?
The Alexandria Quartet
Published between 1957 and 1960, the books present four perspectives on a single set of events and characters in Alexandria, Egypt, before and during World War II.
The 19th century criminal Adam West who was nicknamed the 'Napoleon of Crime' by Scotland Yard is speculated to be the inspiration behind the creation of which literary villain?
Professor Moriarty, the nemesis of Sherlock Holmes
Which best-selling 1989 novel begins "My father has asked me to be the fourth corner at ___ ___ ___ ___. I am to replace my mother, whose seat at the mah jong table has been empty since she died two months ago."?
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
It focuses on four Chinese American immigrant families in San Francisco, California who start a club known as "the Joy Luck Club," playing the Chinese game of mahjong for money while feasting on a variety of foods. The book is structured somewhat like a mahjong game, with four parts divided into four sections to create sixteen chapters.
Which acclaimed 2003 book written from the perspective of a boy with Asperger's Syndrome takes its title from a remark made by Sherlock Holmes in the story Silver Blaze?
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
What common word is missing in the titles of the following book series?
___, Run; ___ Redux; ___ Is Rich; ___ At Rest; ___ Remembered
All works of John Updike, of course
The 1987 nonfiction book And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts chronicles the discovery and spread of what modern horror?
Shilts' premise is that while AIDS is caused by a biological agent, incompetence and apathy toward those who were initially affected by AIDS allowed the spread of the disease to become much worse; AIDS was allowed to happen.
About which author did Graham Greene say "It was as though ___ had put all his writing in a sieve out of which all the adjectives and adverbs fell out"?
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)
Which 1844 novel of William Makepeace Thackeray, later adapted into a movie by Stanley Kubrick, is based on the life of an Anglo-Irish fortune-hunter called Andrew Robinson Stoney?
The Luck of Barry Lyndon
The French word 'rastignac' that describes an ambitious social climber is from the name of a character in the La Comédie humaine series of novels by which author?
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)
The novels present a panorama of French life in the years after the fall of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1815.
In July 2010, who was announced as the first author to sell more than one million books in Amazon's Kindle? Were he alive, he probably would have gotten a dragon tattoo.
Known for his Millennium Trilogy, of course.
Margaret Garner, an enslaved African American woman in pre-Civil War America was notorious for killing her own daughter rather than allow the child to be returned to slavery.
This story was the inspiration behind which classic 1987 American novel written by a Nobel Prize winning author?
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The book's epigraph reads: "Sixty Million and more," by which Morrison refers to the estimated number of slaves who died in the slave trade. A survey of writers and literary critics conducted by The New York Times found Beloved the best work of American fiction of the past 25 years.
The English novelist Sax Rohmer is best known for creating which prototypical ethnic villain who is now associated with a distinctive mustache?
Dr. Fu Manchu
The literary world owes a big debt to actors John Heminges and Henry Condell who compiled what in 1623?
The First Folio (collection of Shakespeare's complete plays)
Heminges and Condell were in a position to do this because they, like Shakespeare, worked for the King's Men, the London playing company that produced all of Shakespeare's plays (in Elizabethan England, plays belonged to the company that performed them, not to the dramatist who had written them).
The title of which 1959 play is the phrase that follows the lines 'What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like ...' in a Langston Hughes poem?
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
The story is based upon a black family's experiences in the Washington Park Subdivision of Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood. A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway, as well as the first play with a black director (Lloyd Richards) on Broadway.
'The duke and the king' are characters that accompany the runaway lead pair in which classic American novel?
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
"Why is that you white people developed much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?" asked Yali.
Which 1997 book is the author's attempt to answer this question?
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
The book met with a wide range of response, ranging from generally favorable to outright rejection of its approach. In 1998 it won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and the Royal Society's Rhône-Poulenc Prize for Science Books.
'The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.'
This unforgettable opening line is from which author's A Bend in the River and lent itself to the title of that authors authorized biography The World Is What It Is by Patrick French?
V. S. Naipaul
It was selected by the editors of the New York Times Book Review as one of the Times' 10 Best Books of 2008.
The most-translated contemporary Italian writer at the time of his death in 1985, whose best known works are the Our Ancestors trilogy and the Cosmicomics collection of short stories?
Which recent Nobel laureate and the author of The Time of the Hero, The Green House and Conversation in the Cathedral ran for the presidency of Peru in 1990?
Mario Vargas Llosa
Some critics consider him to have had a larger international impact and worldwide audience than any other writer of the Latin American Boom. Like many Latin American authors, Vargas Llosa has been politically active throughout his career; over the course of his life, he has gradually moved from the political left towards the right.
Roland Deschain is the protagonist of what series of seven fantasy books that were written between 1970 and 2004?
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
They describe a "Gunslinger" and his quest toward a tower whose nature the books call both physical and metaphorical. King has described the series as his magnum opus.
Which poetic drama that was first performed in 1935 draws on the writing of Edward Grim, a clerk who was a witness to a killing in 1170?
Murder in the Cathedral by T. S. Eliot
The drama portrays the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.
Shakespeare and Company, a famous independent bookstore that specializes in English literature is in which city?
The original bookstore's proprietor was Sylvia Beach. Between 1919 and 1941, the store was considered to be a center of Anglo/American literary culture in Paris. The shop was often visited by artists of the "Lost Generation," such as Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, George Antheil, Man Ray and James Joyce. The contents of the store were considered high quality and reflected Beach's own literary taste.
The first name of which science fiction hero created by Alex Raymond was retitled as 'Speed' in Australia to avoid a negative connotation of the word by which we know him better?
At the time, the predominant meaning of "flash" was "showy", connoting dishonesty.
In which love story of Roman mythology do the lead pair, who are forbidden to wed because of their parents' rivalry exchange words through a crack in the wall?
Pyramus and Thisbe
The tale is told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses.
What classic short story by the French writer Guy de Maupassant concerns an invisible malevolent spirit that aims to take control over the narrator?
The story has been cited as an inspiration for Lovecraft's own The Call of Cthulhu, which also features an extraterrestrial being who influences minds and who is destined to conquer humanity.
What protagonist of a series of popular children's books by H. A. Rey and Margret Rey was called 'Zozo' in 1941 to avoid using the name of the King of England for a monkey?
Curious George (the king was George VI)
In each of the books, Curious George is identified in the text as a monkey, though in the illustrations he does not correspond exactly to any non-fictional species of monkey (and has more of the characteristics of an ape, especially a chimpanzee, which does not possess a tail, as does a monkey). George is brought from his home in Africa by "The Man with The Yellow Hat" to live with him in a big city.
'Tis is the title of the sequel to which biographical 1996 book that is mainly about growing up poor in Ireland?
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
It tells the story of his childhood in Brooklyn and Ireland.
Can you fill in the phrase in the title of Hannah Arendt's 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the ___ ___ ___?
The phrase refers to Eichmann's deportment at his trial, displaying neither guilt nor hatred, claiming he bore no responsibility for shipping Jews to their deaths because he was simply "doing his job."
Banality of Evil
Arendt, a Jew who fled Germany during Adolf Hitler's rise to power, reported on Adolf Eichmann's trial for The New Yorker.
Which classic 1951 sci-fi novel that also served as an inspiration for the movie 28 Days Later starts with the protagonist waking up in a hospital to find the world eerily quiet?
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
Which 1961 non-fiction book by US journalist John Howard Griffin describes his six-week experience travelling on buses through racially segregated states while passing as a black man?
Black Like Me
In 1959, at the time of the book's writing, race relations were particularly strained in North America; Griffin's aim was to explain the difficulties facing black people in certain areas. To expedite this, under the care of a doctor, Griffin artificially darkened his skin to pass as a black man.
What is the only play of Shakespeare with 'love' in its title?
Love's Labour's Lost
The title of which classic set in Africa is taken from a line in Yeats' poem The Second Coming and precedes the words 'the centre cannot hold'?
Things Fall Apart (1958)
Things Fall Apart was followed by a sequel, No Longer at Ease (1960), originally written as the second part of a larger work together with Things Fall Apart, and Arrow of God (1964), on a similar subject.
"Killing an Arab", the first single by music group 'The Cure' was said to be based on which 20th century French literary classic?
The Stranger by Albert Camus
The lyrics describe a shooting on a beach, in which the Arab of the title is killed by the song's narrator; in Camus' story the main character, Meursault, shoots an Arab standing on a beach after staring out at the sea and being overwhelmingly blinded by the sun, reflected on the sea, the sand and the knife the Arab was holding. The track has a controversial history, since it has often been viewed as promoting violence against Arabs.
When R. L. Stevenson wrote the classic Treasure Island, he based the character of Long John Silver on which friend of his who wrote the poem Invictus?
William Ernest Henley (1849-1903)
Which 1899 book by Thorstein Veblen that originated the phrase 'conspicuous consumption' is considered one of the first detailed critiques of consumerism?
The Theory of the Leisure Class
In the book, Veblen argues that economic life is driven not by notions of utility, but by social vestiges from pre-historic times. Drawing examples from his time (turn-of-the-Twentieth Century America) and anthropology, he held that much of today's society is a variation on early tribal life. According to Veblen, beginning with primitive tribes, people began to adopt a division of labor along certain lines. The "higher-status" group monopolized war and hunting while farming and cooking were considered inferior work.
What type of utensil that is frequently used in nonsense poetry first appeared in Edward Lear's best-known poem The Owl and the Pussycat?
Lear does not appear to have had any firm idea of what the word "runcible" means. His whimsical nonsense verse celebrates words primarily for their sound, and a specific definition is not needed to appreciate his work. However, since the 1920s (several decades after Lear's death), modern dictionaries have generally defined a runcible spoon to be a fork with three broad curved prongs and a sharpened edge, used with pickles or hors d'oeuvres, such as a pickle fork.
The 'Younger Memnon' statue of Ramesses II in the British Museum is thought to have inspired which famous poem of P. B. Shelley?
Ozymandias was another name for Ramesses the Great, Pharaoh of the nineteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt. The poem is frequently anthologized and is probably Shelley's most famous short poem.
What was the name of the English physician who published an expurgated edition of Shakespeare's work that he considered to be more appropriate for women and children than the original?
Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825)
He similarly edited Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. His expurgation was the subject of some criticism and ridicule and, through the eponym bowdlerise (or bowdlerize), his name is now associated with censorship of literature, motion pictures and television programmes.
Which phrase has its origins in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra where in a speech Cleopatra regrets her youthful dalliances with Julius Caesar when she says "... My ___ ___, / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood ..."?
More modern use, especially in the United States, refers to a person's heyday when somebody was at the peak of his/her abilities-not necessarily in that person's youth.
Which Norwegian fairy tale is about three goats who want to cross a bridge under which lurks a fearsome troll?
Three Billy Goats Gruff
What 1908 satirical work by the Nobel Prize winning French author Anatole France describes a fictitious island of great auks that exists on the northern coast of Europe?
The longest chapter and probably most well known is a satire of the Dreyfus affair.
In the US and Canada, what appropriately titled book of Dr. Seuss is a popular gift for students graduating from high school and college?
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
It was first published by Random House on January 22, 1990, making it his last book published before his death. It is perhaps best known for the refrain, "Will you succeed? Yes, you will indeed. (98 3/4% guaranteed.)"
Can you fill-in the first line of the poem whose next lines are:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing."?
"A thing of beauty is a joy forever:"
This is the Keats poem Endymion which he based on the Greek myth of the shepherd Endymion who was beloved by the moon goddess Selene.
Which 2003 bestseller and memoir set in Iran is divided into four sections called Lolita, Gatsby, James and Austen?
Reading Lolita in Teheran by Azar Nafisi
The title is an indirect reference to the Islamic state, which took power in 1979 and soon afterward lowered the marriage age for boys and girls.
Which Peruvian-born American author wrote The Teachings of Don Juan and 12 other books that describe his purported training in traditional Mesoamerican shamanism?
Carlos Castenada (1925-1998)
The books and Castaneda, who rarely spoke in public about his work, have been controversial for many years.
The title of which classic 19th century Russian novel comes from the plot where deceased serfs are counted for accounting purposes?
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
In Russia before the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, landowners were entitled to own serfs to farm their land. Serfs were for most purposes considered the property of the landowner, and could be bought, sold, or mortgaged against, as any other chattel. To count serfs (and people in general), the measure word "soul" was used: e.g., "six souls of serfs." The plot of the novel relies on "dead souls" (i.e., "dead serfs") which are still accounted for in property registers.
Criticizing which author for her lack of passion did Charlotte Bronte write "Her business is not half so much with the human heart as with the human eyes, mouth, hands and feet."?
Jane Austen (1775-1817)
According to some sources, the title of which Somerset Maugham book comes from a review of his other novel Of Human Bondage in which the novel's protagonist, Philip Carey, is described as "so busy yearning for ___ ___ that he never saw the ___ at his feet"?
The Moon and Sixpence
Based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin, it is told in episodic form by the first-person narrator as a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character, Charles Strickland, a middle aged English stock broker who abandons his wife and children abruptly in order to pursue his desire to become an artist. Presumably Strickland's "moon" is the idealistic realm of Art and Beauty, while the "sixpence" represents human relationships and the ordinary pleasures of life.
The 1954 publication of the book Seduction of the Innocent which protested the harmful effects of mass media on children led to a U.S. Congressional inquiry into what genre of publishing?
Comic book industry
It led to the creation of Comics Code Authority. At the height of its influence, it was a de facto censor for the U.S. comic book industry. The CCA had no legal authority over other publishers, but magazine distributors often refused to carry comics without the CCA's seal of approval.
Set in 1547, Mark Twain's novel The Prince and the Pauper tells the story of the pauper Tom Canty and which other royal historical figure?
Prince Edward VI (son of Henry VIII of England)
Though not as popular among critics as Twain's other works, the book has foreshadowed the author's successful forays into historical fiction with A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
Which seminal work of 20th century literature is divided into the following five sections?
1. The Burial of the Dead
2. A Game of Chess
3. The Fire Sermon
4. Death by Water
5. What the Thunder Said
T. S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land
Despite the alleged obscurity of the poem - its shifts between satire and prophecy, its abrupt and unannounced changes of speaker, location and time, its elegiac but intimidating summoning up of a vast and dissonant range of cultures and literatures - the poem has nonetheless become a familiar touchstone of modern literature. Among its famous phrases are "April is the cruellest month" (its first line); "I will show you fear in a handful of dust"; and the Sanskrit "Shantih shantih shantih" (its last line).
In 2004, the government of Equatorial Guinea accused which popular English author of being one of the financiers of a failed 2004 coup d'état attempt against it?
"In respect of the recurrent emergence of the theme of sex in the minds of the characters, it must always be remembered that his locale was Celtic and his season Spring."
Literary buffs should be able to immediately say what this alludes to. Can you?
Judgement of John M. Woolsey approving James Joyce's Ulysses
United States v. One Book Called Ulysses was a 1933 case in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dealing with free speech. At issue was whether James Joyce's novel was obscene. In deciding it was not, Judge John M. Woolsey opened the door to importation and publication of serious works of literature, even when they used coarse language or involved sexual subjects. The decision was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, but it is Judge Woolsey's trial court opinion which is now often cited as an erudite and discerning affirmation of literary free speech.
In 1954, Life magazine carried an article Why Do Students Bog Down on First R? A Local Committee Sheds Light on a National Problem: Reading by John Hersey in which he was critical of school primers. What children's classic was written in response?
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Hersey asked toward the end of the article: Why should [school primers] not have pictures that widen rather than narrow the associative richness the children give to the words they illustrate - drawings like those of the wonderfully imaginative geniuses among children's illustrators, Tenniel, Howard Pyle, "Dr. Seuss", Walt Disney? Dr. Seuss responded to this "challenge," and began work. His publisher supplied him with a list of 400 words, ones that the publisher thought children would be learning in school. His publisher told him to cut the list in half and to try and write an interesting enough book for children. Nine months later Dr. Seuss created The Cat In The Hat, which used 223 words from the list he was given.
Because A. A. Milne was critical towards him for pandering to Germans during WWII, which English author created a ridiculous character named Timothy Bobbin to parody some of Milne's poetry?
P. G. Wodehouse
During WWII, Wodehouse made a series of radio broadcasts aimed at America (but not England) that the Germans persuaded him to make from Berlin. Wartime England was in no mood for light-hearted banter, however, and the broadcasts led to many accusations of collaboration with the Nazis and even treason.
The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. commonly referred to as The Sketch Book is a collection of essays and short stories published in 1819 and 1820. It is best known for containing what two magical American short stories?
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
It also marks Irving's first use of the pseudonym "Geoffrey Crayon," which he would continue to employ throughout his literary career. The Sketch Book, along with James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, was the first widely read work of American literature in Britain and Europe. It also helped advance the reputation of American writers with an international audience.
Which 1989 Spanish novel follows the story of young Tita who longs her entire life for Pedro but is only able to express her feelings through her cooking, which causes the people who taste it to experience what she feels?
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
The book is divided into twelve sections named after the months of the year. Each section begins with a recipe of some sort, involving Mexican foods. The chapters outline the preparation of the dish and ties it to an event in the protagonist's life. The phrase "like water for chocolate" comes from the Spanish "como agua para chocolate."
What trilogy of Arabic literature consists of the books Palace Walk, Palace of Desire and Sugar Street?
The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz
The books' titles are taken from actual streets in Cairo, the city of Mahfouz's childhood and youth. He was an Egyptian novelist who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature and who managed to modernize Arabic literature. He is regarded as one of the first writers of Arabic literature, along with Tawfiq el-Hakim, to explore themes of existentialism.
Which 1944 work of Friedrich Hayek is among the most influential expositions of classical liberalism and is stated as the single book that significantly shaped the political ideologies of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan?
The Road to Serfdom
Hayek's central thesis is that all forms of collectivism lead logically and inevitably to tyranny, and he used the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany as examples of countries which had gone down "the road to serfdom" and reached tyranny. Hayek argued that within a centrally planned economic system, the distribution and allocation of all resources and goods would devolve onto a small group, which would be incapable of processing all the information pertinent to the appropriate distribution of the resources and goods at the central planners' disposal. Disagreement about the practical implementation of any economic plan combined with the inadequacy of the central planners' resource management would invariably necessitate coercion in order for anything to be achieved.
Which 1914 history classic that describes the events of the first month of World War I was recommended by JFK to members of his cabinet to help in dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis?
The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman
The focus of the book is to provide the history of World War I from the declaration of war through the start of the Franco-British offensive that stopped the German advance through France. In addition, the book provides a brief history of the plans, strategies, world events and international sentiments prior to and during the war. The Pulitzer Prize nomination committee was unable to award it the prize for outstanding history because Joseph Pulitzer's will specifically stated that the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for history must be a book on American history. Instead, Tuchman was given the prize for general non-fiction.
Concerned about the vagaries of English spelling, which man of letters willed a portion of his wealth to fund the creation of a new phonemic alphabet for the English language?
Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
The money available was insufficient to support the project, so it was neglected for a time. That changed when his estate began earning significant royalties from the rights to Pygmalion once My Fair Lady became a hit. However, the Public Trustee found grounds to challenge the will as being badly worded. In the end an out-of-court settlement granted only £8600 for promoting the new alphabet, which is now called the Shavian alphabet.
When he was killed in a car crash in 1960, which existentialist became the shortest-lived of any literature Nobel laurate till date?
The favorite expression of which belle from the Southern United States is "God's Nightgown!"?
The title of which Virginia Woolf's essay comes from her conception that 'a woman must have money and ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ if she is to write fiction'?
A Room of One's Own
The essay examines whether women were capable of producing work of the quality of William Shakespeare, amongst other topics.
Which 1975 book by the Australian philosopher Peter Singer is considered to be the founding philosophical statement of the animal rights movement?
Singer himself rejected the use of the theoretical framework of rights when it comes to animals: he argued that the interests of animals should be considered because of their ability to feel suffering and that the idea of rights was not necessary in order to consider them. The central argument of the book is an expansion of the utilitarian idea that 'the greatest good for the greatest number' is the only measure of good or ethical behaviour. Singer argues that there is no reason not to apply this to animals.
Fill in the first two lines of this poem:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea."?
"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:"
Kubla Khan, or a Vision in a Dream. A Fragment is a famous poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, which takes its title from the Mongol and Chinese emperor Kublai Khan of the Yuan dynasty.
Utopia by Thomas More is largely based on which influential work of philosophy and political theory?
It is a perfect version of Republic wherein the beauties of society reign (eg: equalism and a general pacifist attitude), although its citizens are all ready to fight if need be.
John F. Kennedy's often quoted sentence in his 1961 inaugural address was inspired by which Lebanese-American poet who wrote the following sentence?
"Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you or a zealous one asking what you can do for your country?"
Khalil Gibran (1883-1931)
He was born in Lebanon and spent much of his productive life in the United States. One of his most notable lines of poetry in the English speaking world is from Sand and Foam (1926), which reads : 'Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it so that the other half may reach you.' This was taken by John Lennon and placed, though in a slightly altered form, into the song "Julia" from The Beatles' 1968 album The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album).
The Other Side of Me is the autobiography of which popular American author and creator of the TV series I Dream of Jeannie?
His TV works spanned a 20-year period during which he created I Dream of Jeannie (1965-70), Hart to Hart (1979-84), and The Patty Duke Show (1963-66), but it was not until after he turned 50 and began writing best-selling novels such as Master of the Game (1982), The Other Side of Midnight (1973) and Rage of Angels (1980) that he became most famous.
Which notorious real-life terrorist figures prominently in Robert Ludlum's Bourne Trilogy?
Carlos the Jackal
In the Trilogy Carlos is depicted as the world's most dangerous assassin, a man with international contacts that allow him to strike efficiently and anonymously at locations anywhere on the globe. His actual name (Ilyich Ramirez Sanchez) is used and details - a mixture of fact and fiction - are given about his upbringing and training, including the fictional account that he trained with Russian intelligence at Novgorod.
Gamekeeper Oliver Mellors is the titular character of what controversial 1928 book?
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
The story is said to have originated from events in Lawrence's own unhappy domestic life, and he took inspiration for the settings of the book from Ilkeston in Derbyshire where he lived for a while. According to some critics the fling of Lady Ottoline Morrell with "Tiger", a young stonemason who came to carve plinths for her garden statues also influenced the story. The publication of the book caused a scandal due to its explicit sex scenes, including previously banned four-letter words, and perhaps particularly because the lovers were a working-class male and an aristocratic female.
If Cornelius Ryan's The Longest Day details the D-Day invasion of Normandy, and The Last Battle tells about the Battle of Berlin, which of his books tells the story of Operation Market Garden in WWII?
A Bridge Too Far (1974)
It details the ill-fated assault by airborne forces on the Netherlands culminating in the battle of Arnhem and was made into a major motion picture in 1977.
The American travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux's book Sir Vidia's Shadow provides a caustic portrait of which other famous author?
V. S. Naipaul
It was precipitated by a falling-out between the two men a few years earlier.
Which 1961 book by Frantz Fanon was described by Time magazine as 'this is not so much a book as a rock thrown through the windows of the West. It is the Communist Manifesto or the Mein Kampf of the anticolonial revolution ...'?
The Wretched of the Earth
It is Frantz Fanon's best-known work, written during and regarding the Algerian struggle for independence from colonial rule. As a psychiatrist, Fanon explored the psychological effect of colonisation on the psyche of a nation as well as its broader implications for building a movement for decolonization. It has become a handbook for political leaders faced with any type of decolonization and is still read in the Pentagon today as advice on dealing with the conflict in Iraq.
Which detective novel by Agatha Christie was first published in 1939 as Ten Little Niggers and later as Ten Little Indians and is her best selling novel with 100 million sales to date?
And Then There Were None
Ten people, each with a deadly secret, find themselves trapped on an island where they become the subjects of a cruel game played by a figure styling himself Mr. U. N. Owen ("Unknown"). They are killed according to an old nursery rhyme, Ten Little Indians.
What genre of literature is generally believed to have been invented by the English author Horace Walpole with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto?
Prominent features of gothic fiction include terror (both psychological and physical), mystery, the supernatural, ghosts, haunted houses and Gothic architecture, castles, darkness, death, decay, doubles, madness, secrets and hereditary curses.
Which writer, the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature created the fictional cities of Gopher Prairie, Minnesota and Zenith, Winnemac?
Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951)
Some of his most famous books were Main Street and Babbitt. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1926 - which he rejected - for Arrowsmith, a novel about an idealistic doctor. Elmer Gantry was the story of an opportunistic evangelist, if not an outright charlatan.
What term from the Spanish for 'rogue/rascal' describes a genre of fiction that depicts in realistic and often humorous detail the adventures of a roguish hero who lives by his or her wits in a corrupt society?
This style of novel originated in Spain and flourished in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries and continues to influence modern literature. Some modern novelists have used some picaresque techniques, as Gogol in Dead Souls (1842-52). Rudyard Kipling's Kim (1901) combined the influence of the picaresque novel with the then new spy novel. Jaroslav Hašek's The Good Soldier Švejk was the first example of the picaresque technique in Central Europe. Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was consciously written as a picaresque novel, as were many other novels of vagabond life, such as Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957) and Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March is a picaresque novel as well.
Which 1966 postcolonial parallel novel by Jean Rhys acts as a prequel to Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel Jane Eyre?
Wide Sargasso Sea
It was named by Time as one of the 100 best English-language novels since 1923.
James Joyce was referring to which literary character with the below words?
"He is the true prototype of the British colonist. ... the whole Anglo-Saxon spirit is in ___ ___: the manly independence, the unconscious cruelty, the persistence, the slow yet efficient intelligence, the sexual apathy, the calculating taciturnity."
Nobel Prize-winning (2003) author J. M. Coetzee in 1986 published a novel entitled Foe, in which he explores an alternative telling of the Crusoe story, an allegorical story about racism, philosophy, and colonialism.
Which path-breaking 1906 book uncovered the horrid working conditions in The Union Stock Yard & Transit Co. or The Yards in Chicago?
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
It operated in the New City community area of Chicago, Illinois for 106 years, helping the city become known as "hog butcher to the world" and the center of the American meat packing industry for decades. From the Civil War until the 1920s and peaking in 1924, more meat was processed in Chicago than in any other place in the world.
A mysterious figure paid an annual tribute on Jan 19th during the period of 1949 to 2009 to which American author by visiting the author's original grave marker in Baltimore?
Edgar Allan Poe
In 2010, for the first time since 1949, the Poe Toaster did not make his annual appearance at the grave.
Which writer of Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair was once called "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language" by Gabriel García Márquez?
Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)
Having his works translated into dozens of languages, Pablo Neruda is considered one of the greatest and most influential poets of the 20th century. Critic and biographer Alistair Reid has stated that Neruda is the most widely read poet since William Shakespeare. In 1971, Neruda was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature after several years of being overlooked for his political activism.
What is observed annually on June 16 in Dublin to celebrate the life of James Joyce and relive the events in his novel Ulysses?
The day is a secular holiday in Ireland. The name derives from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses, and 16 June was the date of Joyce's first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle, when they walked to the Dublin village of Ringsend.
Which influential 19th century work on military strategy by Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz is prescribed at various military academies to this day?
It was written mostly after the Napoleonic wars, between 1816 and 1830, and published posthumously by his wife in 1832. Clausewitz integrates politics and social and economic issues as some of the most important factors in deciding the outcomes of a war.
If the book The Catcher in the Rye is to Mark Chapman-John Lennon, which book is to Yigal Amir-Yitzhak Rabin?
The Day of the Jackal
As published in the Israeli press at the time, police investigators believed that the assassination was partially inspired by the book, and that Amir used it as a kind of "how to" manual.
What is the significance of the title of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 given that it is set in a society where censorship is prevalent?
451 degrees Fahrenheit is stated as 'the temperature at which book-paper catches fire and burns'
The novel reflects several major concerns of the time of its writing: what Bradbury has called "the thought-destroying force" of censorship in the 1950s, the book-burnings in Nazi Germany starting in 1933, Stalin's suppression of authors and books in the Soviet Union, and the horrible consequences of the explosion of a nuclear weapon.
The title of which book comes from a dialogue within where the character Atticus warns his children that, although they can "shoot all the blue jays they want," they must remember that "it's a sin to do this"?
To Kill a Mockingbird
The mockingbird is used as a recurring motif to symbolise innocence and victims of injustice throughout the novel.
Which author admitted that large passages of his best seller were copied from the book The African by Harold Courlander?
Alex Haley for Roots
Haley claimed that the appropriation of Courlander's passages had been unintentional. He has been accused of fictionalizing true stories in both his book Roots and The Autobiography Of Malcolm X.
Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India spoke with Khrushchev and was partly instrumental in preventing the expulsion of which writer from the Soviet Union after that person won the Nobel Prize for Literature?
If Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence fictionalizes the life of Paul Gauguin, his novel Cakes and Ale contains characterizations of which English author who never lived in Wessex?
What 1889 comic classic that describes a boating holiday on the Thames was initially intended to be a serious travel guide until the humorous elements took over and made the book what it now is?
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
Which well-known short story about time travel by Ray Bradbury is a fictional exploration of the 'butterfly effect' of Chaos theory?
A Sound of Thunder
It was first published in Collier's magazine in 1952. The Locus Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections lists it as the first of the top ten most republished science fiction stories.
What section of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey gets its name from the number of literary figures buried there?
The first person to be interred there was Geoffrey Chaucer, whose burial in the abbey owed more to his position as Clerk of Works of the Palace of Westminster than to his fame as a writer.
The 2000 film Finding Forrester in which Sean Connery plays a reclusive author was loosely based on the life of which person who passed away in 2010?
J. D. Salinger
Which 1939 American play takes place in Harry Hopes' saloon and starts with the scene where everyone is waiting for 'Hickey' to show up?
The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill
The play contains many allusions to political topics, particularly anarchism and socialism.
San Jose State University in the US has an annual fiction contest for bad writing named for which 19th century writer known for his hyperbolic prose?
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873)
Lord Lytton was a florid, popular writer of his day, who coined such phrases as "the great unwashed", "pursuit of the almighty dollar", "the pen is mightier than the sword", and the infamous incipit "It was a dark and stormy night." in his 1830 novel Paul Clifford. Despite the popularity in his heyday, today his name is known as a byword for bad writing.
In adventure literature, what lie in an unexplored region of Africa beyond a mountain range called Sheba's breasts and a lush green valley called Kukuanaland?
Mines of King Solomon
Rider Haggard wrote King Solomon's Mines as a result of a wager with his brother, namely that he could not write a novel half as good as Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island (1883).
Which classic Middle Eastern story of star-crossed lovers is based on the real story of a young man called Qays ibn al-Mullawah and has achieved legendary status in the Islamic world?
Layla and Majnun
There were two Arabic versions of the story at the time.In one version, he spent his youth together with Layla tending their flocks. In the other version, upon seeing Layla he fell in a most passionate love with her. In both versions, however, he went mad when her father prevented him from marrying her; for that reason he came to be called Majnun Layla, which means "Driven mad by Layla." To him were attributed a variety of incredibly passionate romantic Arabic poems.
Which 1903 book by Erskine Childers that is still enjoyed for its accurate portrayal of inland sailing was credited by Winston Churchill as a major reason for the establishment of naval bases in the UK?
The Riddle of the Sands
It was one of the early invasion novels which predicted war with Germany and called for British preparedness. The plot involves the uncovering of secret German preparations for an invasion of the United Kingdom.
Fans of Russian Literature who cannot read the originals in Russian ought to be thankful to Constance Garnett. Why?
She was an English translator whose translations of nineteenth-century Russian classics introduced them on a wide basis to the English public.
In 1893, shortly after a visit to Moscow and Petersburg during which she met Leo Tolstoy, she started translating Russian literature, which became her life's passion and resulted in English-language versions of dozens of volumes by Tolstoy, Gogol, Goncharov, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Turgenev, Ostrovsky and Chekhov.
Mark Twain's ridiculing of chivalry in his story A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is considered as specifically targeting whose books?
Among the early critics of Scott was Mark Twain, who blamed Scott's "romantacization of battle" for the South's decision to fight the US Civil War.
In Dante's Divine Comedy, if Hell is divided into 9 circles and Paradise into 9 spheres, what is divided into 7 terraces?
In the Indiana Jones series of novels, Indiana loses his virginity to which real life spy?
After William Shakespeare, who is the most frequently quoted writer in the English language with phrases like "Theirs not to reason why,/Theirs but to do and die"?
Some other phrases by Tennyson that have become commonplace in the English language include: "nature, red in tooth and claw", "better to have loved and lost" and "My strength is as the strength of ten,/Because my heart is pure."
Baden-Powell used themes from which two books in setting up the Scouting movement?
The Jungle Book and Kim
The junior movement is called the Wolf Cubs. These connections still exist today. Not only is the movement named after Mowgli's adopted wolf family, the adult helpers of Wolf Cub Packs adopt names taken from The Jungle Book, especially the adult leader who is called Akela after the leader of the Seeonee wolf pack.
Washington Irving's classic story Rip Van Winkle is set in which geographic region of New York state?
The story is a close adaptation of Peter Klaus the Goatherd by J.C.C. Nachtigal, which is a shorter story set in a German village. The choice of "Van Winkle" for the character's name may have been influenced by the fact that Irving's New York publisher was C. S. Van Winkle.
In the days of Haroun al-Rashid, Caliph of Baghdad, a poor porter pauses to rest on a bench outside the gate of a rich merchant's house, where he complains to Allah about the injustice of a world which allows the rich to live in ease while he must toil and yet remain poor. The owner of the house hears this, and sends for the porter, and it is found they are both named ___. The rich ___ tells the poor ___ that he became wealthy, "by Fortune and Fate," the details of which he will now proceed to relate.
What magnificent adventures follow?
Stories of Sindbad
The Arabian Nights, the collection of stories in which the cycle of Sinbad is found, takes the form of tales told by the beautiful maiden Scheherazade over a period of a thousand and one nights. At the close of the 536th night, Scheherazade gives the setting for the tales of Sinbad.
Karataka and Damanaka are the names of two jackals that are retainers to a lion king. Their lively adventures as well as the stories they tell one another make up nearly half of which classic ancient Sanskrit work?
Literally 'Five Principles', it is a collection of originally Indian animal fables in verse and prose. The original Sanskrit work, now long lost, and which some scholars believe was composed in the 3rd century BCE, is attributed to Vishnu Sarma.
Gibreel Farishta and Saladin Chamcha are prominent characters in which controversial literary work that famously attracted a fatwa?
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
The novel was published in 1988, and on Feb 14, 1989, Ayatollah of Iran issued a fatwa calling on all Muslims to execute all those involved in the publication of the novel.