The literary quiz of the year

Test your knowledge of books and authors

29 December 2023 - 06:45
By Mila de Villiers and Jennifer Platt
'The Woman in Me', by Britney Spears.
Image: Supplied 'The Woman in Me', by Britney Spears.

1. Which book by Barbara Kingsolver won this year's Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Women’s Prize for Fiction and Hay Festival Book of the Year?

2. Which American actress/talk show host has written her much controversial memoir called Worthy?

3. Which recently deceased actor’s memoir — Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing — started with the now fortuitously infamous words: “Hi, my name is Matthew, though you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.”

4. Name the book and the author who won the Sunday Times Literary Award for non-fiction this year?

5. “There is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills.” Name the title and author of this opening sentence. 

6. Which Dawson’s Creek actress narrated the audiobook of Britney Spears’s memoir The Woman in Me?

'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo', by Stieg Larsson.
Image: Supplied 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo', by Stieg Larsson.

7. Which best-selling local author’s latest novel is titled The Reed Dance Stalker?

8. What is the name of the main female protagonist in the Millennium series, which first rose to popularity by the late Stieg Larsson in his best-seller Girl with The Dragon Tattoo trilogy and is now continued by Karin Smirnoff in The Girl in the Eagle's Talons?

9. The latest Deon Meyer novel that has been adapted into a series on M-Net is named after which summit of Table Mountain?

10. What is the month-long campaign run by Exclusive Books called which celebrates home-grown written and published books, and shines the spotlight on South African writers and their writing?

11. What is the name of Lauren Beukes’s 2013 novel of a time-travelling serial killer that has been made into a television series starring Elisabeth Moss?

12. Which Norwegian author was awarded the Nobel prize in Literature “for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable”?

The cast of 'Star Trek: Next Generation: A happy day on the Enterprise'. Clockwise from left: LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, Patrick Stewart, and Gates McFadden.
Image: Courtesy of © Paramount The cast of 'Star Trek: Next Generation: A happy day on the Enterprise'. Clockwise from left: LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, Patrick Stewart, and Gates McFadden.

13. What subcommunity on the app TikTok has become a phenomenon that has managed to skyrocket readership interest and has the chilli as the all important emoji to mark a certain type of novel?

14. Name the author and title of the South African novel that won the Booker Prize in 2021 and has been adapted into a critically acclaimed theatre production this year?

15. Children of the Sugarcane, shortlisted for the 2022 Sunday Times Literary Award for fiction, was turned into an audiobook this year. Who penned the lauded novel?

16. The 1960s/1970s American rock band fronted by Jim Morrison derived their name from an autobiographical book by Aldous Huxley. Name the band’s moniker and the title of Huxley’s work.

17. Which 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction-winning novel by Anthony Doerr was adapted into a limited Netflix series released in November?

18. Royal Shakespeare Company veteran (and also known to many as Star Trek’s Captain Pickard), Sir Patrick Stewart’s memoir was published in October. Name its title.

'The Little Mermaid', by Hans Christian Andersen.
Image: Supplied 'The Little Mermaid', by Hans Christian Andersen.

19. Hans Christian Anderson’s classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid was adapted into a live-action Disney movie this year. Who played the lead role of Ariel?

20. By which pseudonym is popular children’s book author Theodore Geissel better known?

21. Which notorious female serial killer features in the title of Ted Botha’s work of narrative non-fiction on Johannesburg’s dubious characters?

22. The eponymous Jock in Sir Percy FitzPatrick’s Jock of the Bushveld is commonly considered to be what breed?

23. Name the title of Kate Bush’s record-breaking debut single inspired by Emily Brontë’s 1847 Gothic novel.

24. True or false: Barbra Streisand’s memoir, My Name is Barbra, is more than 900 pages long.

25. Which acclaimed South African author’s latest book explores the relationship between Nelson and Winnie Mandela?

Answers: 1. Demon Copperhead; 2. Jada Pinkett-Smith; 3. Matthew Perry; 4. My Land Obsession: A Memoir by Bulelwa Mabasa; 5. Cry, The Beloved Country, by Alan Paton; 6. Michelle Williams; 7. Angela Makholwa; 8. Lisbeth Salander; 9. Devil’s Peak; 10. HomeBru; 11. The Shining Girls; 12. Jon Fosse; 13. BookTok; 14. Damon Galgut, The Promise; 15. Joanne Joseph; 16. The Doors, The Doors of Perception; 17. All the Light We Cannot See; 18. Making it So; 19. Halle Bailey; 20. Dr. Seuss; 21. Daisy de Melker; 22. Staffordshire Bull Terrier; 23. Wuthering Heights; 24. True: the tome is of 992 pages; 25. Jonny Steinberg


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