Questions tagged [identification-request]

Questions asking for identification of a story, book, or author, based on descriptive details provided within the question. Please be thorough and provide ALL of the details that you can remember when using this tag. (For questions seeking the original source of a known quote, use the [quote-source] tag instead.)

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1answer
39 views

Looking for a children's book about math, numbers, and puzzles

I remember when I was a child or young teen (~late 90s / 2000s) I had two books that were illustrated in a cartoon style. One covered math topics like the Fibonacci sequence, the golden ratio, googol. ...
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31 views

Did Hemingway write about intentional contagion during World War I?

I have this vague recollection about Hemingway writing, in one of his novel, about intentional contagion of infection; it seems to me there is a character, near a trench, offering a cigarette pack ...
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1answer
56 views

Book about kid finding a money printer when he goes down a well

I read this book about 10 years ago in elementary. It was the first book in a series. It starts off with kids playing by a tree and then one of them goes down a well to find a money printer. He also ...
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67 views

Earliest use of the term "artificial friend"

In the Kazuo Ishiguro 2021 novel Klara and the Sun the main character is an "artificial friend", i.e., a construction intended to be a child's companion. The idea of a child's robot ...
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Young man from humble background who wanted to propose to the rich young lady

I remember reading a tale (likely part of another novel) of a young man who wanted to marry or propose to a wealthier girl. The young man need some important position to be able to do that but couldn'...
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2 Related Poems by Rimbaud and Verlaine

I'm looking for two poems by Rimbaud and Verlaine. They escape to Belgium together, went to a town party, and both wrote a poem about the event. Verlaine was really straightforward, and classical. ...
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1answer
94 views

Did Sweeney Todd’s story appear in the “Newgate Calendar” prior to “The String of Pearls”?

The character Sweeney Todd, the “demon barber of Fleet Street”, appeared in the “penny dreadful” serial The String of Pearls (1846–1847). The Wikipedia article on the serial says: Sweeney Todd’s ...
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1answer
151 views

Book about barbedwire robot guardian to space portal jumping teen?

Anyone know the name of this series? Back in the late 80's or early 90's I read a series about a galactic empire that used ground based portals to travel between planets. There was some issue and all ...
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1answer
44 views

1st person short story, MC=poisoner consulting with "client" - ends with his offering antidote for poison already given?

I first read this in the late 90's, and it was even then a purple mimeographed copy. My memory is that the speaker offers coffee to the "client" and then they talk for some time about the &...
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34 views

YA or Juvenile short story anthology (textbook?)

When I was in middle school (early 2000s) I remember finding an English textbook full of short stories, plays, and other things. They would be followed by a brief questionnaire before moving onto the ...
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109 views

Reference to "Sensible Susan" in E. Nesbit's New Treasure Seekers?

E. Nesbit's The New Treasure Seekers contains what appears to be a reference to another book titled Sensible Susan: So at the next farm, which was half hidden by trees, like the picture at the ...
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Female detective helping to look for a missing boy book, made into a movie

There's a female detective/police officer helping to look for a missing boy in a town. The missing boy's mother is a nurse who was suppose to pick him up after school but there was a major accident ...
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A work without using the intransitive verb 'is' [closed]

I remember seeing a work by an author whose name (or work) I cannot remember written entirely without the usage of the intransitive 'is'/'are'/'was'. I can't remember if it was merely an essay or an ...
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1answer
87 views

Book about farmer and animal that eats too much

I need help identifying a children’s book I had back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. It was about a farmer who had a goat (maybe a dog) and he bought a bag of food. The goat/animal at all the food and ...
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374 views

Connection (if any) between James Baldwin and "Easy Rider"? Why would he be signing a copy circa '60s or '70s?

I ran across the video ABC Tried to Bury This James Baldwin Interview. Four Decades Later, It's Blisteringly Relevant. The video's notes begin: Buried by ABC at the time, the segment has resurfaced ...
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Italian "Verismo" story: a farmer knows his wife cheats on him but he pretends he doesn't know it to avoid troubles

I'm trying to find an Italian short story of the "Verismo" literary movement I read a long time ago and now I recall only partially: it's probably by Verga or Capuana or, less likely, ...
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1answer
61 views

Short story by Maugham about writer who sells their soul to see how they are remembered in the future, but their only mention is in this very story

I could be wrong that it is by Maugham, it is about 30+ years since reading - in the story the writer knows another writer who is very bad at writing, but who is convinced of their own genius. The bad ...
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1answer
1k views

Appalachia, Chicago, 1920s, Gertie, 3 year old child run over by train in rail yard

I'm trying to locate the author and title of a book I read in paperback about 40 years ago. The story is set in the 1920s and concerns the difficulties of rural Appalachians trying to adapt to life as ...
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29 views

William Carlos Williams poem about poems

A friend has a very distinct memory of a William Carlos Williams poem about poems, where he writes "words exist on the page actually" about the way he would work and rework the same words ...
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1answer
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Short story about paranoid parents whose baby dies in the barbed wire set up to protect it

My daughter told me that she had to read a short story (about two pages long) about an overprotective couple that were so paranoid that something might harm their baby that they put up all kinds of ...
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48 views

Looking for a Book about Alleged Suicide(s) Which Are Actually Murders

I read this book sometime between 2009 and 2012. It was a mystery novel, and the POV character (don't remember if it was third or first person) was a schoolgirl, who is probably in high school. She ...
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82 views

Book or short story where crying is forbidden

I think there may have been devices which tracked citizens’ eyes for any signs of unhappiness or crying, and a police force ensuring that people were not unhappy. Definitely a dystopian setting. Any ...
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1answer
43 views

Looking for information about a comic book bound collection (various themes)

Maybe someone could make sense of my recollection. I used to have a hardcover bound comic book collection/anthology. It had the word "Annual" as part of the title. It didn't belong to any ...
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1answer
578 views

Short Story about several Mall Santas

A few years ago I read a short story, I don't remember where I read it. It centered around several (I think 12?) men who worked as Mall Santas, and they were all talking about the job and about ...
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53 views

Short story with a salacious piece of furniture being circularly regifted

I'm looking for the title of a short story I read in the late '90s (but which I think was significantly older). The core element of the story was a piece of furniture (or maybe a curio?) with some ...
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54 views

Song (perhaps from around World War II) about a young woman being offered a coat, and requesting "just the sleeves"

Recently, I was recounting to my wife various songs that my grandmother used to sing, because I'm trying to ensure they get passed on to our child, and one of them popped up that I have not been able ...
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31 views

Children's book about a child who captures tadpoles with his uncle

I'm looking for the name/author of a children's book, I read it in the early 1990s. The book was about a child whose uncle comes to stay with him. They go to a creek to capture tadpoles with some of ...
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1answer
59 views

Trying to find: short story about man meeting cannibal on train but escaping

In my high school's Western Lit class (1980s), the teacher, Mr. Carlson, handed out three short stories on the theme of modernism and existentialism. One was "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" ...
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1answer
75 views

Short story by Poe where the killers of an evil king escape by ladder

I believe there is a short story by Poe in which an evil king is killed, and the killers escape by a ladder to the roof. What is the title of this story? I read this story several decades ago, in a ...
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1answer
367 views

Looking for the name of a book written by a persecuted Christian in the late Roman Empire

I remember watching several videos on the Early Middle Ages on YouTube by YaleCourses. 04. The Christian Roman Empire is one of the videos in the series. (The entire series is The Early Middle Ages, ...
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1answer
127 views

Story about two brothers playing *gulli-danda*

I remember reading a story in 5th or 6th grade about two brothers where one was jealous of the other. The elder brother had polio in one of his legs and when they were playing gulli-danda, the younger ...
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47 views

50/60s short story where a shipwrecked man hallucinates that his crush comes to him, he kills her; later she reads his confession in the newspaper

Who's the author of the following short story? It's a famous writer from the 50/60s. A clerk is in love with a female colleague who ignores him. When his mother dies, he picks up sailing. A storm ...
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1answer
120 views

Looking for the original version of a book written by an East German author, which has a Chinese translation

I read a book (in Chinese) by a German author. Its title reads '话说图书'(Talk about Books, or may be roughly translated as On Books) and its author is translated as '奈布罗'(nai-bu-luo). I wonder the ...
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1answer
92 views

Story about a seventeen-year-old immortal who lives up to present events

I read an English adult book about around three to four years ago (it seemed quite fresh at the time) which was about a seventeen-year-old boy in the early 20th century, who was shot and became ...
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1answer
293 views

Short story about a young boy living in South Africa during Apartheid [duplicate]

I believe I read this story in my AP Literature textbook, but can't recall the name. It's about a young boy living in South Africa during Apartheid who is ironically killed by the fence surrounding ...
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33 views

"Beauty and the Beast" type short story where the beast wins her by playing cards with the father and cries gems to woo her

I'm looking for a beauty and the beast type short story where the beast wears a mask and wins the beauty by playing cards with her dad. I remember that the beast cries diamonds or some type of gem and ...
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1answer
357 views

Parody of Lewis Carroll's parody, "You are old, Father William"

You Are Old, Father William is a poem by Lewis Carroll that appears in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It is a parody of Robert Southey's poem, The Old Man's Comforts and How He Gained Them. I ...
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61 views

Book about poor people boycotting rich

A book I am looking for is about how one day all poor people stopped working. All shops closed and rich people were left on their own - their cars would break down, no food at home - and all the poor ...
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1answer
93 views

Identify a children's book about a boy put on trial by bugs for his cruelty to bugs

Read this when I was in primary school in Sydney, Australia, early 2010s. It was probably a small chapterbook with some pictures. I'm pretty sure the author is Australian but I'm not sure if it was in ...
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1answer
79 views

French comic about a Native American prisoner

I am looking for a French comic that was published at least 30 years ago. The story took place in the Wild West, during the American Indian Wars. There were three main characters: a young man with a ...
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1answer
65 views

Who are all these writers referred to by Premchand?

The first paragraph of Premchand's (true?) short story "My First Composition" (available on the Internet Archive) is: At the time my age was about thirteen years. I was quite ignorant of ...
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65 views

Short story where aliens provide choice of escape from Earth to all species. All leave except for dogs, which remain with behind with humans

Short story where aliens provide a choice of escape from Earth to all the species. All leave except for dogs, which remain with behind with humans.
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1answer
672 views

Ogden Nash poem on hiccups

I have a vivid memory of reading a poem by Ogden Nash about hiccups that included the word "epiglottis" to help explain why they happen. I think it also had, as a poem, his quote about how &...
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80 views

Young Adult mystery where they interview a former slave

I remember as a kid (probably late '70s) reading a mystery where the protagonists, probably 2+ boys, but I don't recall, interviewed the remaining residents of an old plantation for clues. One of ...
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52 views

NY short stories - woman wears towel for landlord, woman tricks rich man to take her to Napa, priest falls into elevator shaft while wrestling a drunk

A woman who won't pay the rent. When the landlord comes to the door and tries to talk to her, she stands with only a very short towel in front of her. Eventually she has to move and does this all ...
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1answer
73 views

Which book had a character read 1001 Arabian Nights for extra credit?

I remember my school teacher reading to us a book where part of the story was that the main character wants to get extra credit at school for reading a very long book. So he (?) goes to the library ...
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1answer
87 views

Which adaptation of Richard II the John of Gaunt's speech played in Tom Hiddleston's Jaguar Commercial at the beginning comes from?

Starring Tom Hiddleston, at the beginning of this Jaguar advertisement: Art Of Villainy With Tom Hiddleston - Jaguar Ad, a recording of John of Gaunt's speech (This royal throne of kings, this scepter’...
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1answer
370 views

Book featuring John Dee's assistant and a Hungarian vampire lady

I read this short novel around 2014, in the UK, in English. The cover was dark pink or red, and the title was something that smelled like a ripoff of the Da Vinci Code. One of the main (viewpoint) ...
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43 views

Wife kills husband short story, NOT "Lamb to the Slaughter", where the wife giggles at the thought of killing him

I'm looking for the title of a short story, NOT "Lamb to the Slaughter," but another one I used to compare and contrast with it. It had a wife and husband, very much in 1950s roles, talking ...
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70 views

Fairy tale about a Princess who turns into a monster at night

I'm searching for a fairy tale, or a fairy tale retelling, that I've read in English. The story is about a Princess who turns into a monster or a beast at night and so is locked away. If a man can ...

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