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. In Minor Heroism, where in the house does Bryan sit and draw his pictures?

2. Who is Little Duke?

3. What do Michael and Delores first find they have in common?

4. What instrument does Quadberry in Testimony of Pilot play?

5. What kind of car does the narrator of Rock Springs steal?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where do the narrator of Emergency and his friend Georgie work and for how long? What do they do there?

2. Who are the main characters in River of Names, and how are they different from each other?

3. Who is Hattie Benedict in Wickedness, and how does she survive the blizzard?

4. In the story Emergency, who is Terrence Weber? What unusual thing has happened to him?

5. Where does Magic find the white horse, in what condition is the horse, and who does he call for help?

6. In the story A Romantic Weekend, where are Beth and her companion going for their romantic weekend, and how does the narrator describe the apartment?

7. In Testimony of Pilot, how does Quadberry get the scar over his right eye?

8. 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?

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

10. In Carol Bly's story "Talk of Heroes," who is Willi Varig?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Alcohol is a theme in some of the stories in this collection. Compare the drinking and the effect drinking has on these characters and their close relationships: Walter in All The Way To Flagstaff, Arizona; Willi Vorig in Talk of Heroes, and Lenny in Tall Tales From the Mekong Delta.

Essay Topic 2

In her short story, Tan describes "invisible strength." How does MeiMei interpret the concept of invisible strength? What does she accomplish using this concept? What other female in another story uses what could be called invisible strength and how is it similar to MeiMei's?

Essay Topic 3

Susan Power entitled her story about Margaret Many Wounds' death Moonwalk. Why did she use this title? How does the title mean more than one thing in the context of the story?

(see the answer keys)

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