quiz Answers

imageExcerpts from 10 Top 21st-Century U.S. Novels



Name the novel:

1. But in the end he knew that it all came down to the wire.  Him and the cable. Two hundred and ten feet and the distance it bridged.  The towers had been designed to sway a full three feet in a storm.  A violent gust or even a sudden change in temperature would force the buildings to sway and the wire could tighten and bounce.  It was one of the few things that came down to chance.  If he was on it, he would have to ride out the bounce or else he’d go flying.  A sway of the buildings could snap the wire in two.  The frayed end of a cord could even chop a man’s head off in mid-flight.  He needed to be meticulous to get it all right . . .
Let the Great World Spin by Colm McCann 

2. Don’t die, Miss.  Don’t.  Herself, Sorrow, a newborn and maybe Florens - three unmastered women and an infant out here, alone, belonging to no one, became wild game for anyone.  None of them could inherit; none was attached to a church or recorded in books.  Female and illegal, they would be interlopers, squatters, if they stayed on after Mistress died, subject to purchase, hire, assault, abduction, exile.
Mercy by Toni Morrison

 3. That was the first time I saw the Taliban. I’d seen them on TV, on the internet, on the cover of magazines, and in newspapers.  But here I was now, less than fifty feet from them, telling myself that the sudden taste in my mouth wasn’t unadulterated, naked fear. Telling myself my flesh hadn’t suddenly shrunk against my bones and my heart wasn’t battering.  Here they came.  In all their glory.
The Kite Runner by  Khaled Hosseini 

4.  When the movie was over, I called my wife, nine hours ahead in Italy.
     “I should come home,” she said.
     “No, I’m O,K.,” I said.  “Come on, you’re in Rome.  What are you seeing today?”
     “The Vatican.”
      “You can’t leave now.  You have to go and steal something  It will be revenge for every Indian.  Or maybe you can plant an eagle feather and claim you just discovered Italy.”
War Dance by Sherman Alexie


5. You wear out, Ed Tom.  All the time you spend tryin to get back what’s been took from you there’s more goin out the door.  After a while you just try and get a tourniquet on it.  Your grandad never asked me to sign on as deputy with him. I done that my own self.  Hell, I didn’t have nothing else to do. Paid about the same as cowboyin.  Anyway, you never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy


6. For many years Henry Kitteridge was a pharmacist in the next town over, driving every morning on snowy roads, or rainy roads, when the wild raspberries shot their new growth in brambles along the last section of town before he turned off to where the wider road led to the pharmacy.  Retired now, he still wakes early and remembers how mornings used to be his favorite, as though the world were his secret . . .
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout


7. I was looking in December for work that would begin at the start of the January term.  I’d finished my exams and was answering ads from the student job board, ones for “childcare provider.”  I liked children – I did! – or rather, I liked them OK.  They were sometimes interesting.  I admired their stamina and candor.  And I was good with them in that I could make funny faces at the babies and with the older children teach them card tricks and speak in the theatrically sarcastic tones that disarmed and enthralled them.
A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore


 8. Nan had not seen his son for four years.  Taotao seemed frailer than in the photos, though he was definitely more handsome, with a thin nose and dark brown eyes, like his mother’s.  Together the Wus headed for the bus stop, both parents holding the child’s hands. Approaching an automatic door, the boy somehow stopped and wouldn’t exit the building.  He asked his mother, “When are we going back?” His Mandarin had a slight Shandong accent, since he had lived with Pingping’s parents. 
A Free Life
by Ha Jin


9. Let us imagine a door, from which a Rema look-alike emerges every second.   If the door is stationary, and I am stationary, then every second, one of these Remas will pass by.  But if the single observer, let’s say me [Leo], begins walking towards that door, towards the source of Remas, then a Rema will pass by me more frequently than every second, even though Remas are still exiting the door at the precise rate of one per second.  From my perspective, there is now less spacing between the Remas, and therefore the wavelength has been affected, the perceived frequency has changed, has increased.
Atmospheric Disturbances
by Rivka Galchen

10. Isn’t it so weird how the number of dead people is increasing even though the earth stays the same size, so that one day there isn’t going to be room to bury anyone anymore?  For my ninth birthday last year, Grandma gave me a subscription to National Geographic, which she calls “the National Geographic.”  She also gave me a white blazer, because I only wear white clothes, and it’s too big to wear so it will last me a long time.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safron Foer