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Just the Facts: A Big Read Authors Quiz

How much do you know about our newest NEA Big Read authors? Grab a pencil and see if you can match each fun fact with the correct author’s name. Want to learn more about the NEA Big Read authors? You can always find interesting facts about our NEA Big Read authors—and much more—on the Resources tab for each book in the NEA Big Read Library. 



FACTS

1. ____________ says she likely wrote her short story “The Faery Handbag” because her grandmothers had “very, very big handbags”—and her sister, more than anything in the world, wanted to own as many big handbags as possible.  

2. Born in Chile two years after Augusto Pinochet came to power, ____________was first drawn to writing through his love of lyrics, jokes, and tongue twisters.

3. Growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah, ____________’s father, a welding engineer who worked on large structures, would tell him tales about famous accidents in building design.  

4. Before his literary career, Chinese writer ____________ worked as a dentist, though he has told the New York Times that “the inside of the mouth is one of the ugliest spectacles in the world.”

5. ____________ had access to only two television channels on the island where she grew up, which meant she often watched Star Trek: Voyager.

6. Born in a Hmong refugee camp in Thailand, ____________ remembers her mother bringing the family American foods to try—chicken sandwiches with mayo, green onion, and cilantro—as a way of preparing for the family’s upcoming move to Minnesota.

7. ____________’s surname means “so brave you’re crazy,” a phrase she adapted into the title of her memoir, Crazy Brave.  

8. ____________, who grew up in Pennsylvania and Ohio, was the youngest child in her family, and maintained a cherished collection of objects that were unwanted by others.

9. Having written about tennis champion Serena Williams for the Los Angeles Times, ____________ has said: “Sports is one of the places where race plays itself out publicly.”  
 

10. Among the items you’ll find in ____________’s writing space in Georgia are photos of the conjoined twins Millie-Christine, who were born into slavery and later won their freedom. 

AUTHORS

A. YU HUA

B. CELESTE NG

C. ALEJANDRO ZAMBRA

D. EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL

E. CLAUDIA RANKINE

F. KELLY LINK

G. KAO KALIA YANG

H. JOY HARJO

I. KEVIN YOUNG

J. RON CARLSON

ANSWER KEY

1-F

2-C

3-J

4-A

5-D

6-G

7-H

8-B

9-E

10-I

Want to learn more about how writers receive support from the NEA? We can help with that. Check out our new video on NEA Literature Fellows

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