‘Ex-quiz me?!’ The 4th Estate Book Quiz

Welcome to the 4th Estate Monthly Book Quiz!

So we’ve made it through Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year, but it did make us feel rather nostalgic for a momentous 2013. And who can blame us? Last year gave 4th Estate plenty of reasons to be cheerful – from Tash Aw’s Five Star Billionaire being longlisted for the Man Booker Prize to Lucy Hughes-Hallet’s spectacular win of the Samuel Johnson Prize for The Pike – her biography of proto-fascist and poet Gabriele D’Annunzio.

There was plenty more to celebrate across the literary sphere as Eleanor Catton became the youngest winner of the Man Booker. Her novel The Luminaries and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch heralded the return of the big novel – auguring well for a 2014 which sees huge new titles from David Mitchell and Sarah Waters. We lost too many great writers – our own Doris Lessing, Seamus Heaney, Chinua Achebe and Iain Banks. But we witnessed James Bond’s resurrection in William Boyd’s Solo, while the arrival of the most anticipated biography of the year caused controversy characteristic of its subject, as Stephen Patrick Morrisey’s memoirs appeared in the famous black and orange livery of the Penguin Classic list.

So in our inaugural quiz, let us now test your abilities to see back, back, back through the mists of time (or to click, click, click through to Wikipedia) to answer a few puzzlers inspired by 2013’s greatest literary moments.

All correct entries will be put into a a prize draw, with one winner receiving signed copies of The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan, Tash Aw’s Five Star Billionaire and Eat by Nigel Slater.


1. We’ll go easy on you to start; who won the 2013 Nobel Prize for literature?

2. Which author is bringing Hercule Poirot out of retirement?

3. Which famous singleton returned to the dating fray?

4. Our own Woody Guthrie was nominated, but who won the Literary Review’s Bad Sex Award?

5. The characters of the Mr Men and Little Miss books were redrawn to resemble the cast of which popular TV series?

6. Which author was inspired by the Beatles’ Rubber Soul in his latest short story?

7. Which book tested positive for herpes?

8. Which crime-writer’s real identity was publicised this year?

9. Which viral hit is soon to become a children’s book?

10. And finally, who said reading fiction is ‘a fucking waste of time’?

For a chance to win, please submit your answers to 4thestate.marketing@harpercollins.co.uk by 07/02/2014. Terms and Conditions apply. Good luck – we’ll reveal the answers and the competition winner by February 14th, and see you for more quizzical fun and super prizes next month.

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