Vonnegut Trivia – Week of June 10, 2018

While traveling in Scotland last week, I encountered two Vonnegut fans who noticed my Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library baseball cap and shared their appreciation for Vonnegut’s work.  Kurt’s appeal is truly global.

This week’s question tests our readers chronological knowledge.

Q: Which of the following titles was Vonnegut’s second published novel?

a) Player Piano

b) Canary in a Coal Mine

c) Mother Night

D) The Sirens of Titan

Check back next week for the answer.  The correct response to our previous question was B – Vonnegut taught at the University of Iowa during the 1960’s.

For more, check out this 1983 interview.

Vonnegut Trivia – Week of May 27, 2018

Sadly, Loree Rackstraw, a long time friend of Kurt Vonnegut, has passed away.  Rackstraw’s 2009 memoir, Love, As Always, Kurt, is an engaging recollection of her time as one of Vonnegut’s writing students as well as her ongoing friendship with Kurt after graduation.  A professor at the University of Northern Iowa as well as a former editor of The North American Review, Rackstraw also wrote several academic articles about Vonnegut’s work.  For more, see this recent piece from The Courier.

This week’s question is about Vonnegut’s teaching career:

Q: At which university did Kurt Vonnegut teach creative writing during the mid-1960’s?

a) Bennington

b) The University of Iowa

c) The University of Northern Iowa

d) Grinnell College

Check back next week for the answer.  The correct response to last week’s question was B – “Now It’s The Women’s Turn” was the name of the painting revealed to Circe Berman at the end of Bluebeard.

For more, here’s a 1998 clip of Kurt Vonnegut and Lee Stringer discussing writing and creativity.

 

Vonnegut Trivia – Week of May 20, 2018

This week’s question is from Bluebeard, published in 1987.

Q: What is the name of the painting in the potato barn revealed to Circe Berman at the end of the novel?

a) Windsor Blue Number Seventeen

b) Now It’s The Women’s Turn

c) The Unforeseen Wilderness

d) Bluebeard

Check back next week for the answer.  The correct response to last week’s question was A – Kurt’s mother tried to earn money writing fiction during the Great Depression.

For more, here’s a 1999 episode of Bookworm, hosted by Michael Silverblatt.  Recorded after the release of Bogambo Snuff Box, Vonnegut discusses his early short fiction.

Vonnegut Trivia – Week of May 13, 2018

For Mother’s Day, here’s a question about Edith Sophia Lieber Vonnegut, Kurt’s mother.

Q: During the Great Depression, Kurt’s mother Edith tried to earn money through which creative endeavor?

a) Fiction writing

b) Landscape Painting

c) Portrait Painting

d) Playing cello in the Indianapolis orchestra

Check back next week for the answer.  The correct response to our last question is A – The Holiday Inn is the setting for a pivotal scene in Breakfast of Champions.

Here’s a rare of clip of Kurt discussing his artwork in an October 2000 interview with Donald Friedman.

Readers interested in Vonnegut’s art should pick up a copy of Kurt Vonnegut Drawings, which featured contributions from Vonnegut scholar Peter Reed and Kurt’s daughter, Nanette.

Kurt Vonnegut Drawings

 

Vonnegut Trivia – Week of April 29, 2018

This week’s question is from Breakfast of Champions, published in 1973.

Q: A pivotal scene in Breakfast of Champions is set in the lounge of which famous hotel chain?

a) Holiday Inn

b) Howard Johnson

c) Best Western

d) The Hilton

Check back next week for the answer.  The correct response to our question from two weeks ago was D- Bruce Willis played Dwayne Hoover in the film adaptation of Breakfast of Champions.

For more, here’s a 2006 interview with Kurt Vonnegut on the public radio program Bookworm, hosted by the great Michael Silverblatt.

 

Vonnegut Trivia – Week of April 15, 2018

This week’s question is from the world of film:

Q: In the 1999 film version of Breakfast of Champions, which actor plays Dwayne Hoover?

a) Nick Nolte

b) Albert Finney

c) Jerry Lewis

d) Bruce Willis

Check back next week for the answer (or watch the video clip below).  The correct response to last week’s question was B – Helga Noth was Howard W. Campbell’s wife.

If you’ve never seen the film version of Breakfast of Champions, it is available in full, for free, on YouTube.   Be warned: in an interview included with the audiobook of the novel, Vonnegut and his longtime friend Donald Farber described the movie as “painful to watch.”

Here’s a clip of the trailer.

Vonnegut Trivia – Week of April 8, 2018

This week’s question is from Mother Night, published in 1961, the novel Vonnegut famously deemed “the only story of mine whose moral I know …We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be …”

Q: What was the name of Howard W. Campbell’s German wife?

a) Eva Noth

b) Helga Noth

c) Resi Noth

d) Wanda Noth

Check back next week for the correct answer.

For more, here’s a 1997 interview featuring writers Bruce Jay Friedman, Dan Wakefield, and Kurt Vonnegut with host Charlie Rose discussing film adaptations of their work.