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As I watch it snow on the penultimate day of March (!), I leave the visual arts for the literary.gold fountain pen for sontag series

Most of us know books, even love books. And some of us love them with an unruly passion. When I was growing up, I explored shelf after shelf, floor to ceiling, of novels and histories, poetry and plays. One of my favorite places in the world was the used-book store where unimagined treasures could be found. All of this gave me a thirst for literature. It also gives me an ocean of opera and authors upon which to draw for today.

This, naturally, presents its own set of problems. So many possibilities! Who to choose, who to omit. (This is where subjectivity runs amok. It is, after all, my list. 🙂 )

When I first pulled together today’s quiz, I was informed by someone who also loves books that it was way too hard. Oops.

Time to rethink, to break things down and be more inclusive.

So…below are 30 names and 30 titles. They are divided into 3 sections – Easy, Medium, and Hard(er) – a little something for everyone.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to match novelist/playwright with his/her work.  Samuel-Beckett-001

  1. Samuel Beckett                                  a) The Seagull
  2. John Irving                                         b) Watership Down
  3. Lillian Hellman                                    c) The Color Purple
  4. Stephen R. Donaldson                         d) The Hotel New Hampshire
  5. Virginia Woolf                                     e) Howards End
  6. Henry James                                       f) Little Foxes
  7. Anton Chekhov                                   g) To the Lighthouse
  8. Richard Adams                                   h) Waiting for Godot
  9. Alice Walker                                        i) The Europeans
  10. E.M.Forster                                         j) Chronicles of Thomas Covenant


  1. Ursula K. Le Guin                     a) The Sisters Rosensweig
  2. Edward Albee                           b) Mother Courage & Her Children
  3. Samuel Butler                          c) The Lathe of Heaven
  4. Wendy Wasserstein                 d) The Rainbow
  5. Carson McCullers                     e) A Delicate Balance
  6. Bertolt Brecht                          f) Six Characters in Search of an Author
  7. Edith Wharton                         g) Erewhon
  8. George Eliot                            h) The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
  9. D.H.Lawrence                          i) The Mill on the Floss
  10. Luigi Pirandello                        j) House of Mirth


  1. Thomas Middleton                     a) The English Patient
  2. Mikhail Bulgakov                      b) Everything That Rises Must Converge
  3. Murasaki Shikibu                      c) The Hostage
  4. Jean Anouilh                             d) Thieves’ Carnival
  5. Flannery O’Connor                    e) Phèdre
  6. Michael Ondaatje                      f) Women Beware Women
  7. Brendan Behan                         g) Giovanni’s Room
  8. Isabel Allende                           h) The Tale of Genji
  9. Jean Racine                              i) The Master & the Margarita
  10. James Baldwin                          j) House of the Spirits

Have fun. (And give yourself an extra point if you can name the authors pictured.) I’ll post the answers in a couple of days.