GRE Subject Test: Literature in English : Identification of World Prose After 1925

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All GRE Subject Test: Literature in English Resources

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Identification Of World Prose After 1925

Which of these novels was written by Nobel Prize-winning Trinidadian author V.S. Naipul?

Possible Answers:

Love in the Time of Cholera

A Small Place

A House for Mr. Biswas

Wide Sargasso Sea

Breath, Eyes, Memory

Correct answer:

A House for Mr. Biswas

Explanation:

Published in 1961, A House for Mr. Biswas is one of Naipul’s most famous works and is set in his native Trinidad. Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) is by Jean Rhys; A Small Place (1988) is by Jamaica Kincaid; Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994) is by Edwidge Danticat; and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985) is by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Example Question #2 : Identification Of World Prose After 1925

Which of the following is a novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe?

Possible Answers:

Things Fall Apart

Disgrace

The Conservationist

A House for Mr. Biswas

Half of a Yellow Sun

Correct answer:

Things Fall Apart

Explanation:

This is Achebe’s 1958 novel Things Fall Apart. The title is taken from the famous W.B. Yeats poem The Second Coming (1919). The plot of Things Fall Apart follows the life (and downfall) of Okonkwo, a local hero and wrestling champion in a small fictional Nigerian community, as his community is slowly hedgmonized by colonial missionary and commercial influence.

V.S Naipaul's A House for Mr. Biswas (1961), J.M Coetzee's Disgrace (1999), Nadine Gordimer's The Conservationist (1974), and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun (2006) were used as alternative answer choices.

Example Question #3 : Identification Of World Prose After 1925

Which of the following is a novel by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie?

Possible Answers:

White Teeth

The Sheltering Sky

Guerillas

Americanah

The Lowland

Correct answer:

Americanah

Explanation:

This is Adichie’s 2013 novel Americanah, which concerns the life of a young Nigerian woman who immigrates to the United States in order to pursue higher education. The novel investigates race and culture in the United States as well as class, shame, love, and colonialism in Nigeria.

V.S Naipaul's Guerillas (1975), Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland (2013), Paul Bowles' The Sheltering Sky (1949), and Zadie Smith's White Teeth (2000) were used as alternative answer choices.

Example Question #4 : Identification Of World Prose After 1925

Which of the following is NoViolet Bulawayo’s debut novel?

Possible Answers:

Cutting for Stone

The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born

Half of a Yellow Sun

Arrow of God

We Need New Names

Correct answer:

We Need New Names

Explanation:

This is We Need New Names, published in 2013 and shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The novel tells the coming-of-age story of a young Zimbabwean immigrant living in the Midwestern United States. Cutting for Stone (2009) is by Abraham Verghese, Arrow of God (1964) is by Chinua Achebe, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006) is by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born (1968) is by Ayi Kwei Armah.

Example Question #5 : Identification Of World Prose After 1925

Which of the following is the title of Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel about her childhood in Iran during Islamic Revolution?

Possible Answers:

Persepolis

Ghost World

Maus

Akira

From Hell

Correct answer:

Persepolis

Explanation:

While all of these titles are graphic novels, only Persepolis was written by Satrapi. The book is an autobiographical graphic novel and portrays the Iran-Iraq War, Islam, gender roles, and cultural identities in Iran.

Daniel Clowes' Ghost World (1997), Alan Moore's From Hell (1989), Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira (1982), and Art Spiegelman's Maus (1991) were used as alternative answer choices.

Example Question #6 : Identification Of World Prose After 1925

Which of the following postcolonial novels was based on a character from, and serves as a prequel to, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre?

Possible Answers:

Heart of Darkness

The God of Small Things

Wide Sargasso Sea

Disgrace

A House for Mr. Biswas

Correct answer:

Wide Sargasso Sea

Explanation:

Jean Rhys’ 1966 novel Wide Sargasso Sea, a seminal postcolonial and feminist work, explores the Caribbean childhood of Bertha, the first wife of Jane Eyre ’s Mr. Rochester.

V.S Naipaul's A House for Mr. Biswas (1961), Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things (1997), Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1899), and J.M Coetzee's Disgrace (1999) were all used as alternative answer choices.

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was first published in 1847.

Example Question #7 : Identification Of World Prose After 1925

Which novel by Indian author Arundhati Roy concerns the coming-of-age and illicit love story between twins Rahel and Esthappen in India?

Possible Answers:

Midnight’s Children

Twilight in Delhi

The God of Small Things

Cutting for Stone

Troubles

Correct answer:

The God of Small Things

Explanation:

The questions refers to The God of Small Things, which won the 1997 Booker Prize. The novel follows the lives of the aforementioned twins in an intergenerational family in the second half of the 20th century.

Salman Rushdie's Midnight’s Children (1981), J.G Farrell's Troubles (1970), Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone (2009), and Ahmed Ali's Twilight in Delhi (1940) were used as alternative answer choices.

Example Question #8 : Identification Of World Prose After 1925

Which of the following is a Nobel Prize-winning South African writer?

Possible Answers:

NoViolet Bulawayo

Nadine Gordimer

Chinua Achebe

Wole Soyinka

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Correct answer:

Nadine Gordimer

Explanation:

The correct answer is Nadine Gordimer, whose novels include The Lying Days (1953), Booker Prize-winning The Conservationist (1974), and No Time Like the Present (2012). 

Chinua Achebe was Nigerian, as is Wole Soyinka; NoViolet Bulawayo is Zimbawean (although she has been living in the United States for many years; she teaches at Stanford University); Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is Kenyan.

Example Question #9 : Identification Of World Prose After 1925

Which of the following Indonesian writers wrote the popular novel Negeri 5 Menara (The Land of 5 Towers)?

Possible Answers:

Pramoedya Ananta Toer

Leila Chudori

Ahmad Fuadi

Ayu Utami

Sapardi Djoko Damono

Correct answer:

Ahmad Fuadi

Explanation:

This is Ahmad Fuadi, who is an important Indonesian entrepreneur as well as a novelist. Negeri 5 Menara (The Land of 5 Towers) was published in 2009. Pramoedya Ananta Toer wrote the Buru quartet, Ayu Utami wrote Saman (1998), Sapardi Djoko Damono wrote mainly lyric poetry, and Leila Chudori wrote The Last Night (1989).

Example Question #10 : Identification Of World Prose After 1925

This Indian-American author wrote Interpreter of Maladies, a Pulitzer Prize-winning short story collection, and The Namesake, a novel. Who is the author?

Possible Answers:

Jhumpa Lahiri

Mohsin Hamid

Kiran Desai

Arundhati Roy

Salman Rushdie

Correct answer:

Jhumpa Lahiri

Explanation:

The author in question is Jhumpa Lahiri. Her writing often centers around Indian or Indian-American immigrant characters and their interfamilial relationships and strife. Interpreter of Maladies was published in 1999 and won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent book is The Lowland (2013)

Kiran Desai won the 2006 Booker Prize for The Inheritance of Loss. Arundhati Roy won the 1997 Booker Prize for The God of Small Things. Salman Rushdie is the author of Midnight's Children (1981). Mohsin Hamid is the author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007).

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