The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories 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. What kind of epilepsy does Ad Magic have?

2. What unusual injury befalls Terrence Weber in Emergency?

3. When does the story Wickedness take place?

4. In River of Names, who is the narrator's lover?

5. What is the young girl carrying with her on the first day?

Short Essay Questions

1. In the story Minor Heroism, who is Bryan, and what about him bothers his father?

2. Who is Petra in Ann Beattie's story "A Vintage Thunderbird"?

3. Who does the mother in the story The First Day ask the woman at Walker Jones School and why?

4. Why does Delores kill her husband Michael in Scott Bradfield's story "The Darling"?

5. In A Romantic Weekend, how long do Beth and her companion stay in Washington,D.C. and how do they return home? Why did they actually make the trip?

6. What are some of the things the speaker in Girl encourages the young girl to learn how to do in the home?

7. In the story All the Way in Flagstaff, Arizona, what does Walter keep hidden in the wheel well of the spare tire in the car? Why?

8. In The Fat Girl, what is the secret that follows Louise from high school to college?

9. What story does Edna tell the narrator of Rock Springs about her pet, a monkey?

10. How does the narrator of Testimony of Pilot lose his hearing?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Who is Ad Magic? How does his name give important information about who he is and what he does with his life? How does his affliction blur the lines of reality and fantasy for Ad Magic?

Essay Topic 2

What unusual literary device does Jamaica Kincaid use in her story Girl? Why and how does this device succeed in this piece?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the use of metaphors in the story Men Under Water. How do they reflect the relationship between the narrator and Gunther?

(see the answer keys)

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