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 advise does the speaker in Girl give about bread?

2. When did Emily first meet Willi Varig?

3. Why is the couple in A Romantic Weekend going away for the weekend?

4. What does the speaker in Girl teach about spitting up in the air?

5. In the story Wickedness, where does Ainslie Classen find shelter in the blizzard?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does Dzia-Dzia describe Chopin's death?

5. In the story Wickedness, what happens in Nebraska on the twelfth of January, 1888? How does this affect the townspeople?

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

7. How does the woman in The Darling meet Lenny?

8. In the story Chopin in Winter, what do Michael and Dzia-Dzia talk about at night and why?

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

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

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

Chose three female characters from any of the short stories in the book. Discuss what these three women have in common with each other, and how they are different from each other. Include the ways in which the woman are victims and of what or whom.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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