New Year literary quizFeeling a little groggy? Get the brain back in action with our New Year literary quiz by James Walton, the quizmaster of Radio Four's The Write Stuff. Scroll to the end for the answers.By James Walton
A New Year Books Quiz
1. Which Nineties bestseller begins with the heroine getting ready to go to Una and Geoffrey Alconbury’s New Year’s Day Turkey Curry Buffet?
2. Which 19th-century novel ends with Catherine Linton and Hareton Earnshaw planning to marry on New Year’s Day?
3. In which 19th-century novel is there a New Year’s Day party at Mr Vincy’s attended by — among others — his daughter Rosamond and her husband Dr Lydgate?
4. Which long medieval poem, translated in 2007 by Simon Armitage, opens at Camelot on New Year’s Day?
5. Who wrote this in his diary for January 1 1933 — in a city that would feature in his novel of the following year:
“Saturday was New Year’s Eve and Georgetown [British Guiana] full of parties… Tower Hotel scene of Scottish orgy with pipers and quite elderly men sitting on the floor. I had received an invitation to another ball at the club and so went there and drank whisky with various people… Returned about 1am with a doctor and drank with him. Scottish party still in full swing. Secretary asked me to join “hectic” party with two fine tarts, but they all seemed too dumb and drunk so went to bed. Slept little owing to noise and… went out to Mass at 7… Felt ill all day.”
Can you identify the following, all of whom were born on Jan 1:
6. The playwright jailed in 1962 for defacing library books?
7. The British intelligence officer whose autobiography, My Silent War, had a foreword by Graham Greene — and was written in Moscow?
8. The writer who died in 1970, 46 years after publishing his last novel — set in the fictional city of Chandrapore?
9. The author who died in 2010, 47 years after publishing his last book — a pair of stories about the Glass family?
10. The poet who wrote these lines, quoted by Churchill during the Blitz:
“For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.
And not by eastern windows only,
When the daylight comes, comes in the light.
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
But westward, look, the land is bright!”
The Chill of Winter
1. In Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, who’s the wife of Leontes?
2. In Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, what’s the first name of the second Mrs De Winter, who narrates the book?
3. CP Snow coined which now-common three-word phrase for the centres of government, in his Strangers and Brothers novel-sequence?
4. Which wintry-named poet performed at John F Kennedy’s presidential inauguration?
5. Which wintry-named novel by Lisa Moore was longlisted for this year’s Booker Prize?
6. Whose once-bestselling thrillers included Ice Station Zebra?
7. Nancy Mitford’s Love in a Cold Climate is the sequel to which of her earlier novels?
8. Who wrote If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller?
9. In 2010, which British novelist published What to Look for in Winter?
10. In which 1969 novel would you find this characteristic passage:
“I lace up my skates with weak, trembling fingers, and then out into the cold and after them I move… behind a fluttering covey of them — a nosegay of shikses, a garland of gentile girls… How do they get so gorgeous, so healthy, so blond?… So: dusk in the frozen lake of a city park, skating behind the puffy red earmuffs and the fluttering yellow ringlets of a strange shikse teaches me the meaning of the word longing… Forgive me luxuriating, but these are probably the most poignant hours of my life I’m talking about.”