issue 29: March - April 2002 

Joyce Carol Oates - photo TBR's

The answers

The twenty-three questions below about one of the U.S.A's most prolific writers could have been a wee bit too hard as we didn't have a winner.  Many people participated, however, and there were a few close calls.

If you'd like a go before seeing the answers then   click here but, obviously, the prize is no longer up for grabs.

1. From which novels do the following characters come?

     a.) Legs Sadovsky Foxfire
     b.) Nadine Greene them
     c.) Enid Maria Stevick You Must Remember This
     d.) Quentin P. Zombie
     e.) Zachary Lundt We Were the Mulvaneys
     f.) Abraham Licht My Heart Laid Bare
     g.) the Gemini Twins Blonde
     h.) Glynnis McCullough American Appetites
     i.) Abigail Des Pres Middle Age: A Romance
     j.) Veronica "Verrie" Myers Broke Heart Blues
     k.) Brigit Stott Unholy Loves
     l.) Corky Corcoran What I Lived For
     m.) Jinx Fairchild Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart
     n.) Richard Everett Expensive People
     o.) Gillian Brauer Beasts

2. In the short story "Naked," a middle-age woman

     a.) walks in on her son standing naked in the living room
     b.) becomes transfixed by a naked man in a city reservoir
     c.) is left naked in a wildlife preserve
     d.) overlooks a naked car-accident victim while awaiting an ambulance

3. In which one of these short stories does Oates portray a young girl’s coming of age?

     a.) "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"
     b.) "Heat"
     c.) "Why Don’t You Come Live With Me It’s Time"

4. What novel is Oates referring to in this line from a well-known essay?

This great novel, though not inordinately long, and, contrary to general assumption, not inordinately complicated, manages to be a number of things: a romance that brilliantly challenges the basic presumptions of the "romantic"; a "gothic" that evolves—with an absolutely inevitable grace—into its temperamental opposite; a parable of innocence and loss, and childhood's necessary defeat; and a work of consummate skill on its primary level, that is, the level of language.    Wuthering Heights

5. In Oates’s fictional biography of Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn dies

     a.) solely from a self-induced overdose of drugs
     b.) from an injection deliberately given to her
     c.) from a complication of drugs given to her by Robert Kennedy
     d.) from a suppository administered to her by her private physician

6. In which novel does one of the protagonists write a letter to her teacher of years ago, one "Miss Oates"? them

7. Her fictional name is Kelly Kelleher, but she is based on which real-life character?
Mary Jo Kophecne

8. Marina Troy in Middle Age: A Romance takes off to spend a year in

     a.) Detroit
     b.) the Poconos
     c.) the Rocky Mountains
     d.) upstate Vermont

9. Which novel is titled after a song by the Shrugs? Broke Heart Blues

10. Fill in the blank: "Boxing has become America’s tragic theater."   (from the essay "On Boxing")

11. In one of her more recently published novels Oates employs the expression "affable slug." To what is she referring and to whom does it belong?
A penis, John F. Kennedy (from Blonde)

12. All of the "Circle" loved this handsome greaser and never got over him . . .

     a.) Jules Wendall
     b.) Arnold Friend
     c.) John Reddy Heart

13. The American saga that follows six generations of a wealthy clan and includes a female vampire is

     a.) We Were the Mulvaneys
     b.) Bellefleur
     c.) You Must Remember This
     d.) Unholy Loves

14. In the short story "Poor Bibi," Bibi dies from being

     a.) trampled
     b.) eaten
     c.) drowned
     d.) ignored

15. Name the poem from which the following lines are taken:

     I saw how the window at last framed only what was there,
     beyond the frame,
     that could not fall. I Saw a Woman Walking into a Plate Glass Window

16. In an essay Oates states: "_______ is certainly the greatest novel in the English language, and one might argue for its being the greatest single work of art in our tradition." What is the novel?   Ulysses

17. Rosamond Smith is

     a.) a pseudonym of Oates
     b.) the protagonist of A Bloodsmoor Romance
     c.) Oates’s sister-in-law
     d.) the name of Oates’s cat

18. In which one-act play do three Americans enter a bomb shelter in an unnamed European country? Under/Ground

19. The novel which begins "I’d been brought to the hospital in wrist shackles" is

     a.) Foxfire
     b.) The Assassins
     c.) Zombie
     d.) Man Crazy

20. In the short story "Shopping, "a mother and daughter

     a.) witness a murder spree at a shopping mall
     b.) are driving around looking for a new shopping mall
     c.) both work at a mall
     d.) go shopping at a mall

21. Which one of the following actors does not appear in a film adaptation of Oates’s work:

     a.) Isabella Rossellini
     b.) Angelina Jolie
     c.) Laura Dern
     d.) Aidan Quinn
     e.) John Diehl
     f.) Ann-Margret
     g.) Treat Williams
     h.) Cathy Moriarty
     i.) Lili Taylor

22. The distinguished small press started by Oates and her husband Raymond Smith is

     a.) Ontario Review Press
     b.) Dalkey Archive Press
     c.) New Directions
     d.) Review of Contemporary Fiction

23. From where does Randy Souther’s excellent Joyce Carol Oates webpage Celestial Timepiece take its name?
from a poem by Oates; it appears in the collection Invisible Woman: New and Selected Poems 1970 - 1982

ŠThe Barcelona Review 2002

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tbr 29              march - abril  2002


Michel Faber: Some Rain Must Fall
Jackie Kay: Physics and Chemistry
Mark Winegardner: Halftime
Jean Harfenist: Pixie Dust
pick from back issues

Thomas Glave:Whose Song?

-Interview Michel Faber
-Quiz Joyce Carol Oates - answers
-Book Reviews Elizabeth Young, Steve Aylett, Daniel Woodrell...
-Regular Features Book Reviews (all issues)
TBR Archives
(authors listed alphabetically)

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