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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What is the name of Reta's friend, a medical journalist who lives in Newfoundland?
(a) Esther Alford.
(b) Edith Ackman.
(c) Emily Alister.
(d) Emma Allen.

2. Why does Reta write a letter of complaint to an editor of a literary magazine about a series of books called "Great Minds of the Western Intellectual World"?
(a) Because her books are left out of the list.
(b) Because the books only focus on Western intellectuals.
(c) Because none of the books feature women writers.
(d) Because most of the books feature 19th century women.

3. What do Tom and the girls see as a contradiction about the American event they are fixated on?
(a) They see the Indy 500 as a contradiction to public concern for safety.
(b) They see the presidential speech as a contradiction to the realities of the Iraq war.
(c) They see the election results in Florida as a contradiction to the checks and balances system in the constitution.
(d) They see the Kentucky Derby as a contradiction to government regulation of gambling.

4. What does Tom's friend, Colin Glass, try to explain to Norah when he comes over for dinner?
(a) Darwin's Theory of Evolution.
(b) Newton's Laws of Motion.
(c) Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
(d) Curie's Theory of Radioactivity.

5. What do Reta, Tom, Christine, and Natalie do in the car in Toronto?
(a) They share memories of Norah and laugh.
(b) They talk about their feelings and cry.
(c) They stare out the windshield and cry.
(d) They ponder the future and laugh.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Reta, what is "full of rough corners that seem to me just about to come into their full beauty"?

2. What does Reta immerse herself in despite her continuing grief?

3. Whose personality is Reta worried about developing in her novel?

4. How are Reta and Danielle different?

5. Why does Reta become angry at the male author being interviewed on the literary television show?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does the memory of shopping for the perfect scarf for Norah haunt Reta as a "big female secret" and what does the scarf represent?

2. Why does Norah make the sarcastic observation in her letter to Alexander Valkner that he must have suffered from extreme fatigue when he thought of his list of "literary big cats"?

3. Why does Arthur love Alicia as a character and why is it significant?

4. Describe Norah's thoughts about the two main characters in her novel, and why they are significant.

5. Why does Reta view her trip to the library as a way of reconnecting with Norah?

6. What are Reta's feelings about Tom and their sexual relationship?

7. How are Reta's feelings about sex related to her writing about Alicia and Roman?

8. Why do Reta and her writer friends at the Orange Blossom Room conclude that the concepts of goodness and greatness are incompatible for women?

9. During Norah's visit from university the previous year, Reta states that she knew how "wildly out control" Norah was, how "she'd become dangerous to her own being." Describe why Reta comes to this conclusion.

10. Describe Reta's feelings about the formation of her inner dialogue, the "longest conversation" that goes on in a lifetime in a person's mind.

(see the answer keys)

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