the color of fiction

Writers often try to paint pictures with words, so it’s no surprise that colors have played a major role in the titles of a number of works of fiction. This puzzler was submitted by Barbara Wilson ’82, who was a classics major at USC and is one of our most adept “Last Worders.” See if you can follow her clues and come up with the colorful titles (and authors) of the books or stories she is describing.

1. A semi-autobiographical novel about the naive and ingenuous daughter of a rector in Cornwall. Is she in love with the equally innocent architect Stephen – or is she in love with the older but sexually
inexperienced Henry?

2. The safari was a fine safari. The grass was green and smooth and the trees were big, high-trunked and old with no undergrowth but the smooth green of the turf like a deer park. The rhinos were big and fierce and proud. This was the kind of hunting that I liked.

3. Pecola wants to be beautiful. If only she could change one thing about herself, she would be pretty and people would like her. She prays and prays for this to happen, but when it does, the outcome is not what

4. A little boy decides to go for a walk in the moonlight and creates a magic world for himself – roads to travel on, skyscrapers to see, even a policeman to help him get home.

Sam-I-Am uses creative means of persuasion to tempt his very skeptical friend to try a somewhat odd dish.

6. Life was good on the farm in the country for the title character of this story, but after he moved to the city, alas, what a difference. Cruelty and abuse were his daily rewards. Would life ever get better?

7. Partygoers at a masked ball revel in voluptuousness and excess, not realizing there is an enemy within which will put a tragic end to their hilarity.

8. What magic potion kept him looking so young? Everyone wanted to know. The older his friends and acquaintances got, the younger and younger he seemed. If only they knew his secret.

9. A woman kept in her room “to get well” descends into the maelstrom of madness. Her husband and child become her enemies. Even the room itself torments her, until she finally destroys part of it in trying to regain her sanity.

10. At first scorned and reviled by her fellow townspeople, the main character of this book lives a quiet hardworking life to make up for her past transgression, and attains some degree of inner peace. But guilt lies heavy on her love, until he collapses under the weight of it.

11. Alex and his Droogies enjoy a real horrorshow time until Alex is arrested and rehabilitated, with unexpected results.

12. William has a difficult job – to investigate the validity of a rumor without being obvious. A rash of mysterious deaths adds a challenge. Fortunately his wit and reasoning abilities are razor-sharp.

13. Celie’s letters to her sister and to God tell her story, of love and heartbreak, of life and death, of happiness and sorrow, of
discovering who she is and the inner strength she possesses.

14. War is not knights in shining armor and colorful pageantry-filled battles in this book; instead it’s the stark and grim reality of what really takes place on a battlefield.




Contest Rules

1. We are looking for the title and author of each of the 14 books or stories described.
2. Send us your answers by mail, fax or e-mail (see below) so that we receive them by March 28. Be sure to include your name and mailing address on your entry.

The Last Word c/o USC Trojan Family Magazine University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2538

Submissions by fax (213-821-1100) and e-mail are also welcome. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

3. We will award up to five $30 gift certificates from Borders Books & Music to those well-hued readers who send us correct answers to all 14 questions. If more than five well-hued readers send us correct answers before the deadline, we will draw the winners by lot.

Visit your neighborhood Borders Books and Music store for over 200,000 book, music and video titles in stock, plus special orders on most merchandise. Serving you throughout Southern California and across the nation.

Last Word Solutions - Winter 1996

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