Do You Remember the Authors of the Books You Read in High School?


By: Allison Lips

5 Min Quiz

Image: Viorika / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

While high school English literature curricula vary by school district, there are some authors who are taught in classrooms across the country. Most high school students are familiar with the works of Homer, the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Heller, John Steinbeck, Homer, Oscar Wilde and William Shakespeare. 

Even if you didn't read all of the previously mentioned authors in high school, you may get curious and decide to read their works as an adult. After all, there are only so many hours of teaching time to cover so many books. A few authors were bound to get skipped over no matter how much of a classic their novels, plays or short stories are now considered. 

Due to the large volume of classic literature, it is also impossible to learn every piece of work by an author in your English classes. For example,  you may not have read William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer's Night Dream" in high school, but chances are someone you know did. Instead, your school district probably opted for "Julius Caesar," "Hamlet," or the one play every high school student must read: "Romeo and Juliet." 

Are you a book lover? Was English your favorite subject in high school? Test your memory with this quiz on books you read in high school!  

Which author wrote about the Maycomb lawyer Atticus Finch?

In 1961, "To Kill a Mockingbird" received a Pulitzer Prize. A sequel called "Go Set a Watchman" was released in 2015.


Who wrote "The Great Gatsby," which explores the decadence present during the Roaring Twenties?

F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose full name is Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, was named after Francis Scott Key. "The Star Spangled Banner" lyricist was Fitzgerald's second cousin three times removed.


Which author wrote about British boys stranded on an uninhabited island?

In 1983, Sir William Golding won the Nobel Prize for Literature. "Lord of the Flies" was his first published novel.


Which author wrote about the dangers of totalitarian rule in "1984?"

George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair. His first book was called "Down and Out in Paris and London."


Who chronicled the lives of the Joads as they fled the Dust Bowl in "The Grapes of Wrath?"

In 1962, John Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature. His first three novels were "Cup of Gold," "The Pastures of Heaven" and "To a God Unknown."


Who wrote about Charles Marlow's journey up the Congo River in "Heart of Darkness?"

Joseph Conrad was born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in modern-day Ukraine. His other novels include "Lord Jim," "Nostromo" and "The Secret Agent."


Which author wrote "Great Expectations" about an orphan?

On February 7, 1812, Charles Dickens was born. During his life, he wrote at least 20 novels and novellas .


Who wrote about Janie Crawford's experiences?

Zora Neale Hurston published her first novel in 1934. It was called "Jonah's Gourd Vine."


Who wrote the story of Gene Forrester and Phineas during their days at Devon?

John Knowles wrote a sequel to "A Separate Peace" called "Peace Breaks Out." It was published in 1981.


Which author wrote about Elizabeth Bennet in "Pride and Prejudice?"

Jane Austen lived from December 16, 1775 to July 18, 1817. During her lifetime, she published "Sense and Sensibility," "Pride and Prejudice," "Mansfield Park," and "Emma."


Who wrote about Ponyboy Curtis and his gang of greasers?

In 1967, S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders" was published. Since then, she has written "That Was Then, This Is Now," "Rumble Fish," "Tex" and "Taming the Star Runner."


Which author wrote about his experiences as a soldier during the Vietnam War in "The Things They Carried?"

Tim O'Brien's first book was "If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home." It was published in 1973.


Who told the story of Captain John Yossarian in "Catch-22?"

In 1994, Joseph Heller published "Closing Time," which was a sequel to "Catch-22." His other novels include "Something Happened," "Good as Gold" and "God Knows." Heller's memoir is called "Now and Then: From Coney Island to Here."


Which famous English playwright wrote "Julius Caesar," "Hamlet" and "Othello?"

It is believe that William Shakespeare wrote 37 plays. He wrote 17 comedies, which include "The Merchant of Venice" and "Much Ado About Nothing."


Who wrote "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "The Importance of Being Ernest?"

In 1884, Oscar Wilde married Constance Lloyd. They had two children: Cyril and Vyvyan.


Which Greek author is responsible for "The Iliad" and the "Odyssey?"

Not much is known about Homer. There are also doubts that the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" were written by the same person.


Who wrote "The Scarlet Letter," which tells the story of Hester Prynne?

Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" was published in 1850. He also wrote "The Blithedale Romance" and "The Marble Faun."


Who told the story of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn?

In 1884, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published in the United Kingdom. The following year, it was released in the United States.


Which American author wrote "Fahrenheit 451," which is about Guy Montag and Clarisse McClellan?

Ray Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920. "Fahrenheit 451" was originally published in 1953.


Who published "Jane Eyre" under the pen name "Currer Bell?"

Jane Eyre was originally published in 1847. Charlotte Bronte's last work, "Villette" was published in 1953.


Who authored the dystopian novel "Brave New World?"

"Brave New World" was first published in 1932. In 1958, Huxley wrote "Brave New World Revisited" in which he analyzed how his book held up.


Who wrote the story of a scientist who created a creature that became animated?

In 1812, Mary Shelley married poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. After her husband died in 1822, Shelley published his poems as "Posthumous Poems."


Which author wrote "The Hobbit" about Bilbo Baggins?

"The Hobbit" was originally published on September 21, 1937. The story was nominated for a Carnegie Medal.


Who wrote "The Canterbury Tales" in Middle English?

Geoffrey Chaucer was born around 1340 and died on October 25, 1400. His other works include "The Book of the Duchess," "The House of Fame," and "Troilus and Criseyde."


Which American author told the story of Billy Pilgrim in "Slaughterhouse-Five?"

Kurt Vonnegut's first novel was "Player Piano," which was published in 1952. "Slaughterhouse-Five" was originally published in 1969.


Whose autobiography is called "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?"

Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson. In 1969, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" was published.


Who wrote the tale of Ishmael and Captain Ahab?

In October 1851, "Moby-Dick" was originally published in London as "The Whale." A month later, the book was published in the United States as "Moby-Dick; or, The Whale."


Which Irish writer wrote the satire on human nature called "Gulliver's Travels?"

In 1726, Gulliver's Travels was published anonymously as "Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World." In 1996, a TV movie starring Ted Danson was made.


Which author tells the story of Nora and Torvald Helmer in "A Doll's House?"

On March 20, 1828, Henrik Ibsen was born. His works include "Catilina," "Peer Gynt," "A Doll's House," and "Ghosts."


Which Irish author wrote "Pygmalion?"

"Pygmalion" was published in 1912. In 1925, George Bernard Shaw received the Nobel Prize in Literature.


Who wrote "The Joy Luck Club," which tells the story of Chinese American immigrants?

Amy Tan was born in February 1952. Her second novel is called "The Kitchen God's Wife."


Which author wrote about the Italian campaign of World War I in "A Farewell to Arms?"

Ernest Hemingway's debut novel was "The Sun Also Rises." It was published in 1926.


Who wrote about Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind?"

Margaret Mitchell's estate authorized a sequel called "Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind." It was published in 1991.


Which French philospher wrote the novella "Candide?"

In 1759, "Candide" was published. Voltaire died on May 30, 1778.


Which author wrote about Blanche DuBois, Stella, and Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire?"

Tennessee Williams was born Thomas Lanier Williams. In 1947, Williams won a Pulitzer Prize for "A Streetcar Named Desire."


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