A Women’s Studies professor approached me to tell me she planned to include Ithaca on her course curriculum this past winter because she liked the way the novel dealt with the diversity of different women’s experiences and because it looked at domestic details and concerns that are sometimes missing in literature. She also asked whether I would be willing to come to speak to the class about the book and about ‘the shape of a woman writing today.’ I was really happy to join the two classes during their last week of school.
What was perhaps most fun for me was that when I arrived at the university and made my way to the classroom, the students were busily taking a test: a reading quiz about Ithaca. I can’t tell you how fun that was for me–to think that people were engaging with the content on that level. It ranks up there with fan fiction (where people write other stories based on the characters and world created by an author) and having a book filmed.
I’m going to post the text of my talk on Friday but I thought I would give you a chance to answer some of the questions from the quiz. And I thought I would turn the quiz into a contest: send me your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org and if you get all the questions right, I will send you a section of writing that didn’t make it into the final draft of the book.
1. What does Daisy bring on her first trip to Henry’s cabin?
b) a picnic lunch
c) her computer
d) a notebook
2. Before his death, Daisy’s husband worked as a professor at
d) Each of the three at different times
3. Henry enjoys reading
c) nursery rhymes
4. Who convinces Daisy to buy the green laptop?
5. What is the name of Carmel’s daughter?
6. Henry raises bees in an effort to help his wife’s multiple sclerosis?
7. Where did Carmel’s motehr take her children on September 11th?
a) Home to watch the Flintstones
c) To the lake
d) To the cafe to watch coverage of the terrorists attacks on tv
8. Why is the main character originally nicknamed Daisy?
a) Because she picked every daisy in her mother’s garden
b) Because she once made a daisy chain for her mother
c) Because it was Arthur’s favourite flower.
d) None of the above.