Classic Short Story Quiz: John Cheever, Edgar Allan Poe and More
Between short story maestro Alice Munro winning this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature and George Saunders’ “Tenth of December” blowing up across bestseller and year-end best lists, short stories have been at the forefront of our minds in 2013. To celebrate the art of the short form, we’ve put together this quiz on classic and contemporary short stories. Test your knowledge with the questions below, then click the link at the bottom of the page to get your score!
In James Joyce’s classic short story “Araby,” the 13 year-old narrator hopes to buy a gift for his crush at:
a) Rite Aid
b) a bookstore
c) a toy store
d) a bazaar
In Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery,” the winner of the annual community lottery receives what as a reward?
a) a book containing all knowledge
b) a baby
c) death by stoning
d) a five-day, all-expenses-paid trip to Saint-Tropez for two
In John Updike’s 1961 short story “A&P,” the protagonist, Sammy, quits his job as a store clerk after his manager yells at who?
a) Sammy’s 97 year-old great grandmother (for attempting to steal cabbage)
b) Sammy’s dog (for having an accident on the floor in the frozen food section)
c) a group of teenage girls (for wearing bathing suits in the store)
d) Jesus (of whom Sammy’s manager has occasional visions)
In Edgar Allan Poe’s classic horror story, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” where does the protagonist hide the body parts of the man he kills?
a) inside a grand piano
b) in a pot of spaghetti
c) in a wedding cake
d) under the floorboards of the man’s room
In Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the grandmother’s cat is named:
b) Pitty Sing
In John Cheever’s short story “The Swimmer,” whose pool does the protagonist, Neddy Merill, swim in first?
a) the Westerhazys’
b) the Adam’s
c) the Bunkers’
d) the Hammers’
Jhumpa Lahri’s “Interpreter of Maladies” was only the seventh short story collection to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. What was the first?
a) “The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford” by Jean Stafford
b) “The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter” by Katherine Anne Porter
c) The Bible
d) “Tales of the South Pacific,” by James A. Michener
Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants” consists entirely of a conversation between two people sitting in a train station in what country?
The title story of Lydia Davis’ collection consists of this single sentence:
a) “My mother is a fish.”
b) “that Scotland has so few trees.”
c) “And so is George Washington.”
d) “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”