GRE Subject Test: Literature in English : Identification of American Prose

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Subject Test: Literature in English

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All GRE Subject Test: Literature in English Resources

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Example Questions

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Example Question #31 : Identification Of American Prose

This author’s novels include What I Lived For, Black Water, and Blonde. Who is she?

Possible Answers:

Joyce Carol Oates

Alice Munro

Leslie Marmon Silko

Louise Erdrich

Carson McCullers

Correct answer:

Joyce Carol Oates

Explanation:

The stunningly prolific Joyce Carol Oates has published more than forty novels since 1963. She has won countless short story awards, in addition to the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award.

Example Question #32 : Identification Of American Prose

Which novel features the characters Holden, Phoebe, Stradlater, and Mr. Antolini?

Possible Answers:

Slaughterhouse-Five

Seize the Day

The Gallery

The Catcher in the Rye

Almanac of the Dead

Correct answer:

The Catcher in the Rye

Explanation:

These characters appear in J.D. Salinger’s 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye.

Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac of the Dead (1991), Saul Bellow's Seize the Day (1956), and John Horne Burns The Gallery (1947) were all used as alternative options.

Example Question #33 : Identification Of American Prose

A Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by this author concerns the rises and falls in the fortune of a Chinese family, the protagonist Wang Lung, and the aristocratic House of Hwang. Who is the author?

Possible Answers:

Rachel Carson

Alice Walker

Harper Lee

Pearl S. Buck

Isabel Allende

Correct answer:

Pearl S. Buck

Explanation:

The question refers Pearl S. Buck's 1931 novel The Good Earth. Buck's second novel, and the first book in her The House of Earth trilogy, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and considered a key factor in Buck’s receiving the Nobel Prize in 1938. The novel also helped raise American political awareness of, and spur discussion of Asian race relations during the 1930s.

Example Question #34 : Identification Of American Prose

Which American author wrote the darkly comedic World War II novel Catch-22?

Possible Answers:

Thomas Pynchon

Norman Mailer

Joseph Heller

Elie Wiesel

Kurt Vonnegut

Correct answer:

Joseph Heller

Explanation:

Although all of these authors wrote works set during World War II, the writer of Catch-22 (1961) is the Brooklyn-born Joseph Heller. The novel is the source of the common expression "catch-22", which refers to an unsolvable logic puzzle in which two contradictory solutions are offered to a problem.

Example Question #49 : Identification Of Prose

This Native American author wrote novels and short story collections including Reservation Blues, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Who is he or she?

Possible Answers:

Sherman Alexie

LeAnne Howe

Louise Erdrich

Greg Sarris

Leslie Marmon Silko

Correct answer:

Sherman Alexie

Explanation:

The author in question is Sherman Alexie, who grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington State. His work includes short stories, novels, poems, screenplays, and films. Reservation Blues (1995) was Alexie's first novel and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993), a collection of interconnected short fiction, featured a number of shared characters. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian won the National Book Award for Young People's literature in 2007. Alexie is a two time National Book Award winner, and has won the PEN Hemingway, PEN Faulkner, and PEN Malamud awards.

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