by Edward St Aubyn
We have revealed the answers to our Christmas Quiz - one a day for all of January - to provide even more inspiration for your New Year resolution to read more (exceptional) books.
Quiz maestro James Walton - writer, editor and host of BBC Radio4’s The Write Stuff - dug deep into our Booker Library and come up with some extremely tricksy questions to test your novel knowledge over Noël.
The quiz is called Knowledge of Angels - and we can’t tell you why until January 31st because that’s a bonus question. (Please note, however, that it should not be confused with Knowledge of Angles, an entertaining Christmas quiz from the Young Maths Club about the variety of spaces between intersecting lines or surfaces.)
Did you achieve the spurious title with no real world significance of Christmas Bookerworm 2021?
Who are the only father and son to have both been shortlisted for the Booker (the father won)?
Answer: Kingsley and Martin Amis. Kingsley Amis won with The Old Devils in 1986, having previously been shortlisted for Ending Up and Jake’s Thing. Martin Amis’ only shortlisting was for Time’s Arrow in 1991.
Who are the only mother and daughter to have both been shortlisted for the Booker (the daughter won)?
Answer: Anita and Kiran Desai. Anita Desai has been shortlisted three times for Clear Light of Day, In Custody and Fasting, Feasting without ever winning. Kiran Desai won in 2006 with The Inheritance of Loss – since when she hasn’t written another novel.
Which Booker-shortlisted novel of the 1980s is set in a society devised by a group called the Sons of Jacob?
Answer: The Handmaid’s Tale – by Margaret Atwood.
Which Booker-winning novel – whose title is a place where none of the action is set – opens with a son being beaten by his father in Putney?
Answer: Wolf Hall – by Hilary Mantel. (The beaten boy is Thomas Cromwell.)
Professor David Lurie and his daughter Lucy are the two main characters in which Booker-winning novel, whose author was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature four years later?
Answer: Disgrace - by J.M. Coetzee
All the correct answers here contain a word (or, in one case, two words) associated with Christmas in some way.
PS: There’s also quite a hard bonus point for knowing where the title of the quiz comes from.
Answer to the PS: Knowledge of Angels was a shortlisted novel in 1994 by Jill Paton Walsh.
By Roddy Doyle