This week, let’s turn our attention to great writers who hailed from flyover country. Can you match the writer with the city in which he/she was born?
- Anne Tyler
- Ralph Ellison
- Kurt Vonnegut
Here are the answers:
- Minneapolis, MN—Anne Tyler has published twenty-three novels, including Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, The Accidental Tourist, and Breathing Lessons. All three were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and Breathing Lessons won the prize in 1989. She was born in Minneapolis but when she was 11 years old, her family moved to another “flyover” city, Raleigh, North Carolina, where her Quaker parents were very active in social causes. Up until that point, Tyler had never attended public school and never used a telephone. Despite that, when she entered school for the first time, she was academically well ahead of most of her classmates. She won a full scholarship to Duke University at age 16.
- Oklahoma City, OK—Ellison is best known for his race exploration novel “Invisible Man.” The novel won the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction in 1953, making Ellison the first African American writer to win the award. Born and raised in Oklahoma, he left as a young man to attend Tuskegee Institute where he studied music. After Tuskegee, he moved to New York City, where he met author Richard Wright, who motivated Ellison to write.
- Indianapolis, IN—In a career spanning over 50 years, Vonnegut published 14 novels, three short story collections and five plays. His book Slaughterhouse-Five was inspired by Vonnegut’s having been captured by the Germans during World War II and placed in a POW camp in Dresden. British and American bombers destroyed the city by dropping incendiary bombs, turning the city into an inferno that killed up to 60,000 civilians. Vonnegut and his fellow POWs survived by accident only because they were housed some 60 feet underground in a former meat locker and slaughterhouse.
Thanks for playing!