As announced last night through my video interview on youtube, we’re giving away a free, autographed copy of Prodigal. So how do you win? It’s easy: Below, there are 10 literary quotes. Some of them will be difficult, others not so much. Name the author of each quote and the book from which it came and e-mail your submission to … the first one to get all 10 right wins! Don’t forget to include “contest” in the subject line of your e-mail.

If you don’t win, don’t worry — there are going to be two more chances to win a free, autographed copy!

With that said, on to the contest!

1) So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. (Thought I’d start you out easy.)

2) Wouldn’t it be pretty to think so?

3) What traitors books can be! You think they’re backing you up, and they turn on you. Others can use them, too, and there you are, lost in the middle of the moor, in a great welter of nouns and verbs and adjectives.

4) She just kept saying sonova bitch, in a dead singsong voice, and I found that as we walked we were keeping time to the curse, left, right, sonova bitch. I realized that the broken door was still wide open and as we sonovabitched by on the next swing I kicked it shut with my heel. A few more turns and she fell silent, then she said, half question–

5) One by one, we see the other reapings, the names called, the volunteers stepping forward or, more often, not. We examine the faces of the kids who will be our competition. A few stand out in my mind. A monstrous boy who lunges forward to volunteer from District 2. A fox-faced girl with sleek red hair from District 5. A boy with a crippled foot from District 10.

6) When he didn’t get any answer the second time he knocked, Parker kicked the door in. Only the cheap bolt lock was fastened; the chain lock and the police lock were both open.

7) Johnny and I looked at each other. He grinned suddenly, raising his eyebrows so that they disappeared under his bangs. Would we ever have something to tell the boys! his eyes said plainly. We had picked up two girls, and classy ones at that. Not any greasey broads for us, but real Socs. Soda would flip when I told him.

8 ) All this happened, more or less.

9) The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them – words shrink things that seemed limitless …

10) When John Dortmunder, relieved, walked out of Pointers and back to the main sales floor of the O.J. Bar & Grill on Amsterdam Avenue a little after ten that Wednesday evening in November, the silence was unbelievable, particularly in contrast with the racket that had been going on when he’d left. But now, no. Not a word, not a peep, not a word. The regulars all hunched at the bar were clutching tight to their glasses as they practiced their thousand-yard stare, while the lady irregulars mostly seemed to be thinking about their canning. Even Andy Kelp, who had been sharing a bourbon with Dortmunder down at the far end of the bar while they waited for the rest of their group to arrive, now seemed to have settled deeply into a search for a rhyme for “silver.” All in all, it looked as though a whole lot of interior monologue was going on.

Good luck!


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