See how you did on last week's local literary quiz

Read Street

November 09, 2008|By dave rosenthal and nancy johnston | dave rosenthal and nancy johnston,dave.rosenthal@baltsun.com and nancy.johnston@baltsun.com

Last week's quiz on Baltimore's literary heritage generated a lot of interest and very few incorrect answers - the most stumbles came on questions 3 and 5. Folks here really know their authors. As a reward, we'll send a new book to all who submitted answers.

Here's a list of answers, with thanks to the University of Baltimore's Literary Heritage Project for supplying much of the information. We're thinking of new quizzes; if you have ideas, let us know.

And special thanks to Sally Lemmon, who noted that she's a cousin to Dashiell Hammett. She wrote: "He used to bring his grandmother (Old Mrs. Dashiell as we called her) down to visit. My mother used to say Dashiell was the 'thinnest man' she ever knew!"

The answers:

1. Dashiell Hammett, whose works include The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, was a Pinkerton investigator here. His base was the Continental Trust Building, from which he derived the name of his detective, the Continental Op.

2. Edgar Allan Poe's literary fortunes improved after he won a $50 prize for "MS Found in a Bottle."

3. John Dos Passos wrote the U.S.A. trilogy: The 42nd Parallel, 1919 and The Big Money.

4. F. Scott Fitzgerald came here to seek help for his troubled wife, Zelda. He was the great-great-nephew of Francis Scott Key, who wrote our national anthem.

5. W.E.B. DuBois, author of The Souls of Black Folks, helped found the NAACP. But even as the organization fought for integration, he sought to establish strong African-American institutions.

6. The Jungle, Upton Sinclair's expose of the meat-packing industry, helped earn him the nickname "King of the Muckrakers."

7. After leaving the Johns Hopkins medical school, Gertrude Stein befriended great artists as an ex-pat in Paris. Her friendship with the Cone sisters led to their bequest to the Baltimore Museum of Art.

8. Great social critic H.L. Mencken was a longtime columnist and editor for The Sun newspapers.

9. Ogden Nash's lighthearted and fanciful poems have delighted children and adults for decades.

10. Edith Hamilton's books include Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes.

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