Black Dog of Fate: A Memoir Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Peter Balakian
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What color were the kitchen cabinets in the Balakian's new home in Tenafly?
(a) Pine.
(b) Maple.
(c) Cherry.
(d) Oak.

2. What was the name of the poet with whom Balakian started his journal?
(a) William Saroyan.
(b) Bruce Smith.
(c) Jack Wheatcroft.
(d) Karl Shapiro.

3. At what age did Peter Balakian begin attending Columbia football games with his father?
(a) Seven.
(b) Two.
(c) Five.
(d) Ten.

4. In what year did Roman Emperor Constantine turn Byzantium into the imperial residence?
(a) 275 A.D.
(b) 430 A.D.
(c) 300 A.D.
(d) 330 A.D.

5. At what age did Aunt Nona begin institutional schooling?
(a) Fifteen.
(b) Sixteen.
(c) Fourteen.
(d) Twelve.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who was Balakian's first anti-hero?

2. What does the name Arax mean?

3. What college did Balakian's father say was "better than its name"?

4. What prize did William Saroyan turn down for his play, "The Time of Your Life," in 1943?

5. What meat did the Balakian family frequently eat for dinner?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Balakian's school term paper on Turkey mark a turning point in his relationship with his father?

2. Why were books so important to Balakian's Aunt Nona?

3. Why did Balakian's grandmother tell him a story from the genocide while he was delirious with fever?

4. How did Balakian's grandmother react to the assault against the man on the city bus?

5. Why was Balakian so unnerved by his grandmother's constant doting on him at family gatherings?

6. How did Balakian's family's attachment to food reflect their ancestors' history?

7. How did Balakian's grandmother continue to affect him even after her death?

8. Why did Balakian's father send him the newspaper clipping about the Armenian Soviet republic and how did Peter react?

9. In what ways did life at Auntie Anna's and Uncle Steve's house differ from life in the Balakian household?

10. What was Balakian's reaction to the film, The Graduate?

(see the answer keys)

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