The Questing-Vole


Questing quiz of the year

Text settings

Opening Sentences (name the books)

1) Aaron, Richard Ithamar (1901-1987), philo- sopher, was born on 6 November 1901 at Upper Dulais, Blaendulais, Glamorgan, the son of William Aaron (1864–1937), a draper, and his wife, Margaret Griffith (d. 1940).

2) When the woman found milk in her breasts, and other secret feminine tokens, Scaife, the constable’s man, an archdolt, was dispatched across the windswept moors and icy mountains to fetch Mr John Brigge, coroner in the wapentakes of Agbrigg and Morley.

3) So just how mega is this then? A book on English.

4) Although 1979 may not have the same histor- ical resonance as 1789, 1848 or 1917, it too marks a moment when the world was jolted by a violent reaction to the complacency of the existing order. Two events from that year can both now be recognised as harbingers of a new era: the return of the Ayatollah Khomeini to Iran and the election of Margaret Thatcher’s Tories in Britain.

5) She stares back at me, sulky, suspicious, dis- trustful, holding my gaze. There isn’t a day when she’s not here, shadowing me from the minute I wake up.

6) What laws govern our universe?

7) Peter Crowther’s book on the election was already in the shops. It was called Landslide! and the witty assistant at Dillon’s had arranged the window in a scaled-down version of that natural disaster.

8) I’ve been called a slapper, a tart, a man-eater; a woman who is so desperate for male attention she will do anything to get it.

9) Early on the morning of August 19, 1946, I was born in a clear sky after a violent summer storm to a widowed mother in the Julia Chester Hospital in Hope, a town of about six thousand in south-west Arkansas.

10) Every time the men’s-room door opened, the amped-up onslaught of Swarm, the band banging out the concert in the theater overhead, came crashing in, ricocheting off all the mirrors and ceramic surfaces until it seemed twice as loud.

Publishing Folk

1) Whose manuscript was stolen from the shed at the bottom of his garden?

2) Which publishing house celebrated its 75th anniversary?

3) HarperCollins announced the scrapping of a well-respected literary imprint. Which bird was the list named after?

4) What happened at the Royal Horticult- ural Halls for the first time ever?

5) Leonie Frieda’s biography of Catherine de Medici received hundreds of plugs this year. Who is Miss Frieda’s boyfriend?

6) Christopher Ricks became Oxford Prof- essor of Poetry. Who was his rival for the post?

7) Which Nobel laureate caused a censor-ship row when she withdrew her approval from her authorised biographer, causing publication of the book to be cancelled?

8) What was the nationality of the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for literature?

9) A religious conspiracy thriller became, in paperback, the year’s publishing phenomenon. What was its name and who wrote it?

10) What distinction did Andrea Levy’s Small Island earn her this year?

What They Publish

1) Nicola Barker published Clear: A Transparent Novel. It centred on a stunt by which American showman?

2) Which literary form was championed in Don Paterson’s The Book of Shadows?

3) Which American novelist got into trouble for writing a book that fantasised about George W. Bush being assassinated by remote-control flying saws?

4) Whose chronicles was Chronicles?

5) Charles Clover’s The End of the Line warned of a crisis in what?

6) Who was ‘The Master’ in Colm T