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 River of Names, what is the narrator certain she does not want to do?

2. Who does Louise marry when she is thin?

3. In Testimony of Pilot, how does Lillian die?

4. What is Georgie's job at the hospital?

5. In Testimony of Pilot, who is Lillian?

Short Essay Questions

1. What memory does Bryan relate in the third part of the story Minor Heroism?

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

3. In Rules of the Game, what is Meimei's mother's "chang"?

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

5. In the story Dog Heaven, who is Sparky Smith and what game does he and the narrator play together?

6. What secret does the narrator of Lawns finally reveal to her boyfriend and her mother? How do they react?

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

8. Where is the priest going at the end of Departures, and where has he been? How is he traveling?

9. Before she dies, what story does Margaret tell Evie and Lydia that change their lives?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

When Danica asks Mr. Muirhead, in the story Train, whether she and Jane will be friends forever, how does he respond? Why does he know these things about his daughter, and likewise know Danica is not like his daughter?

Essay Topic 2

Earl, in Rock Springs, tries to change his life by stealing a car and leaving Montana with his girlfriend and his daughter. How does the author use foreshadowing to prepare the reader for Earl's failed attempt at this new life? How does the last paragraph of the story foreshadow the rest of Earl's life?

Essay Topic 3

How does the author portray nature and the forces of nature in the story Wickedness?

(see the answer keys)

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