Game of the Month
For this month’s contest, we’re excited to present a matching game for our National Book Award feature. As you may have read, our upcoming issue will contain a reassessment of the 1961 fiction prize. Contemporary authors Leah Stewart, Alexander Chee, Keith Lee Morris, John McNally, and Justin Tussing serve as the judges, documenting in essay form their process of narrowing the NBA contenders to a shortlist of five, then picking a new winner. You’ll want to check out the new issue to see which novel they selected as their number one, but in the meantime we offer this bit of trivia to test your knowledge of classic American fiction.
The five finalists are listed below, along with an excerpt from each work. Anyone willing to try his/her hand at matching the excerpts with the authors/titles will receive a free back issue (your choice). For those who answer correctly, we’ll pick one of you at random (Seriously! We found a randomizer online!) to win either a thermos, slingpack, or the upcoming issue.
To enter, simply post your comments on the blog by clicking the post title above.
We stop taking entries on Monday, so enter soon, and good luck!
- John Updike’s *Rabbit, Run*
- John Knowles’s *A Separate Peace*
- Flannery O’Connor’s *The Violent Bear It Away*
- Harper Lee’s *To Kill a Mockingbird*
- Wright Morris’s *Ceremony in Lone Tree*
a. With nothing to block it the wind flung wet gusts at me; at any other time I would have felt like a fool slogging through mud and rain, only to look at a tree.
b. Down the tracks to the east, like a headless bird, the bloody neck still raw and dripping, a tub-shaped water tank sits high on stilts. Bunches of long-stemmed grass, in this short-grass country, grow where the water drips between the rails.
c. He used to love to climb the poles. To shinny up from a friend’s shoulder until the ladder of spikes came to your hands, to get up to where you could hear the wires sing.
d. She was horrible. Her face was the color of a dirty pillow-case, and the corners of her mouth glistened with wet, which inched like a glacier down the deep grooves enclosing her chin.
e. It had taken him barely half a day to find out that the old man had made a wreck of the boy and that what was called for was a monumental job of reconstruction.