Telling Secrets Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. The author said that he told his father's story both as the child "I was in 1936 and still am in ___."

2. How old was the author when his father committed suicide?

3. What title did the author write when he was in his fifties and his mom was in her eighties?

4. In Part One of the book, what was not a tradition in the Buechner family in relation to death?

5. "For the last ____ years" of her life, the author's mother saw almost no one except immediate family.

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the author's mother's bedroom in her 79th street apartment.

2. Why is the author telling his secrets?

3. Why does the author write "The Wizard's Tide" and what differs in the book from his childhood memory of his father's death?

4. How does the author describe God loving us, and loving his daughter?

5. Why did the author feel like a dwarf as depicted in C. S. Lewis' "The Last Battle?"

6. How do ministers lose touch with God?

7. How did author's mom respond to his fictionalized version of his father's death and how did her reaction to this fist telling affect the author's writing about the death later?

8. What illness did the author's daughter have and how did it affect her?

9. Why did the author's mother have so few friends as she got older?

10. What did the author say he would deal with in this autobiography "Telling Secrets?"

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Part Three of the book, the author talks about the groups that meet in the basement. He specifically details what each group does or does not do. Then he states that the church could learn a lot from such groups since the church, in his opinion, is more like a dysfunctional family, while the groups operate closer to what God intended for His church. Discuss this rationale. How are the groups like families at their best, and operating closer to what God meant for the Church? How does the church resemble a dysfunctional family? What would have to happen, according to the author, for the church to have only God and themselves left?

Essay Topic 2

Explain what the author means when he writes that by watching and listening we are praying. How does God speak to us in quietness? What is "God's place" in us? What deadens us to God's presence within us? How does Psalm 131 illustrate these points from the author?

Essay Topic 3

The author taught on the east coast and in the mid-west. Explain his thoughts about each experience, using details from the book. Also, identify the major differences that existed between the two in regards to religious discussions, and the students he taught; and how these differences contributed to the author's experiences.

(see the answer keys)

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