ACT Reading Dec. 2016 74H - Passage I

Questions 1-10 are based on the following passage.

LITERARY NARRATIVE: Passage A is adapted from an essay[br]
by Marita Golden. Passage B is adapted from an essay by Larry L. King. Both essays are from the book Three Minutes or Less: Life Lessons from America's Greatest Writers (©2000 by The PEN/Faulkner Foundation).

Passage A by Marita Golden

Writers are always headed or looking for home.

Home is the first sentence, questing into the craggy ter­-

rain of imagination. Home is the final sentence, pol­-

ished,perfected,nailed down.I am American writer.
5 and so my sense of place 1s fluid, ever shifting. The

spaciousness of this land reigns and pushes against the

borders of self-censorship and hesitation. I have

claimed atone point or other everyplace as my home.

Like their creator, my fictional characters reject
10 the notion of life lived on automatic pilot. The most

important people in my books see Jife as a flame, some-­

thing that when lived properly bristles and squirms,

even as it glows. In the autobiography Migrations of the

Heart, the heroine, who just happened to be me, came
15 of age in Washington, D.C., and began the process of

becoming an adult person everywhere else.If You sell

your first piece of writing in Manhattan, give birth to

your only child in Lagos, experience Paris in the spring.

with someone you love, and return to Washington after
20 thirteen years of self-imposed exile to write the Wash­-

inton bovel nobody else had( and you thought you

never would!tickeet,visas lingua franca will all

become irrelevant .When all places finger print the

which grasp is judged to be the strongest?In my novel
25 A Woman's Place, one woman leaves America to

JOtn a liberation struggle in Africa. In Long Distance

Life, Naomi Johnson flees 1930s North Carolina and

comes up south to Washington, D.C .. to find and make

way. Thirty years later her daughter: returns to that her comp-
30 lex, unpredictable geography and ts sculpted like some

unexpected work of art by the civil-rights movement.)

I am a Washington writer, who keeps one bag in

the closet packed, just in case. I am an American. who

knows the true color of the nation's culture and its
35 heart, a stubborn, wrenching, rainbow. I am Africa's

yearning stepchild, unforgotten, misunderstood, neces­-

sary. Writers are always headed or looking for home.

The best of us embrace and rename it when we get


Passage B by Larry L. King

40 If you live long enough, and I have, your sense of

place or your place becomes illusionary. In a changing

world, our special places are not exempt. The rural

Tcxas where I grew up in the 1930s and 1940s simply

does not exist anymore. It exists only in memory or on
45 pages or stages where a few of us have attempted to

lock it in against the ravages of time. And It is, of

course. a losing battle. Attempting to rhyme my work

of an earlier Texas, with the realities of today's urban-

tangle Texas, I sometimes feel that I am writing about
50 pharaohs.

My friend Larry McMurtry a few years ago stirred

up a Texas tornado with an essay in which he charged

that Texas writers stubbornly insist on writing of old

Texas. the Texas of myth and legend, while shirking our
55 responsibilities to write of the complexities of modern

Texas. Hardly had the anguished cries of the wounded

faded away on the Texas wind, until Mr. McMurtry

himself delivered a novel called Lonesome Dove. A

cracking good yarn, if a bit Jong on cowboy myths and
60 frontier legends. And decidedly short of skyscraper

observations or solutions to urban riddles. But not only

did Larry McMurtry have a perfect right to change his

mind, I'm delighted that he did.

I spent my formative years in Texas, my first sev-
65 enteen years. before random relocation arranged by the

U.S. Army. Uncle Sam sent me to Queens. I must

admit, Queens failed to grow on me. But from it I dis­-

covered Manhattan, which did grow on me, and I

vowed to return to Manhattan. And one day did. But before
70 that, in 1954, at the age of twenty-five, I came

to Wash­ington, D.C., to work in Congress.

New York and Washington offered themselves as

measuring sticks against the only world I had previ­-

ously known. They permitted me to look at my natural
75 habitat with fresh eyes and even spurred me to leave my

native place. I have now tarried here in what I call the

misty East for almost forty years. This has sometimes

Led to a confusion of place. I strangely feel like a Texan

in New York and Washington. but when I return home
80 to Texas, I feel like a New Yorker or a Washingtonian.

So if my native place has been guilty of change, then so

have I. Yet when I set out to write there is little of

ambivalence. The story speaks patterns. and values that

pop out are from an earlier time and of my original
85 place. I fancy myself a guide to the recent past. In an

age when the past seems not much value, I think that is

not a bad function for the writer.

Question 5 In the context of Passage B, when the passage author states, I sometimes feel that I am writing about pharaohs (lines 49-50), he most nearly means that he feels as if he is writing about
Question 9 The passages most strongly indicate that in their vari­ous moves, both passage authors have
Question 8 It can reasonably be inferred from the passages that, regarding its effect on their lives, both passage authors would agree that leaving their native places
Question 7 As it is used in line 85, the word fancy most nearly means
Question 6 Based on Passage B, McMurtry s comment that Texas authors write about old Texas too much was received with what can best be described as
Question 1 According to Passage A, for the author of the passage, being an American writer means that her sense of place is
Question 10 Which of the following statements best compares the concluding lines of the passages?
Question 4 The losing battle in line 47 of Passage B most nearly refers to the passage author s efforts to
Question 3 Based on how she presents herself in the third para­graph (lines 32-39), the author of Passage A can best be described as someone who
Question 2 Which of the following statements regarding the pas­sage author s Washington novel is best supported by Passage A?