Random Questions

2003 ACF Nationals - Packet by ACF Editors (#3) - #12 [report this tossup]
The main character of this novel reaches a turning point in his life when he hears Joan Baez on the stereo for the first time. The argumentative couple Mahesh and Shoba often invite the main character to lunch, eventually revealing their sordid past. Father Huismans attempts to collect traditional African paraphernalia, while the main character's friend Indar invites him to the Domain, where he conducts an affair with Raymond's wife Yvette. Set in a village on the Congo River, FTP, identify this novel that centers on Salim, written by V. S. Naipaul.
Answer: A Bend in the River

2008 ACF Nationals - Packet by Virginia Commonwealth - #15 [report this tossup]
One story about this battle involves a nearby forest of black poplar trees; the losing commander here reportedly struck his sword into a poplar in despair and it turned white. One side was aided by reinforcements under Georg von Frundsberg, whose pikemen surrounded a mercenary group known as the Black Band, while the pikemen of Richard de la Marck were slain. Alfonso d'Avalos, the Marquis of Pescara, led the arquebusiers under the overall command of Charles de Lannoy; he breached the wall of Mirabello around midnight and many combatants drowned in the nearby Ticino River. Its aftermath saw the losing side forced to sign the Treaty of Madrid, which would never be honored. Resulting in the capture of French emperor Francis I, FTP, name this battle by which Charles V solidified Spanish hegemony at the climax of the Italian Wars in 1525.
Answer: Battle of Pavia

2006 ACF Nationals - Packet by Maryland and Williams - #22 [report this tossup]
One of this man's novels parodies the detective story genre through the character of private investigator C. Card, who fantasizes about having adventures in Babylon. Besides Dreaming of Babylon, he also wrote a "Gothic Western" which describes the encounter between professional killers Cameron and Greer and the illusory titular creature in The Hawkline Monster. Both books are commonly published along with his first novel, whose title refers to both the grandfather of Lee Mellon, "A Confederate General," and the fictional twelfth member of the Confederacy, "Big Sur." He is more famous, however, for writing about iDEATH, a place where "the deeds were done and done again" in his utopian fantasy In Watermelon Sugar. FTP, name this American author who is best known for writing Trout Fishing in America.
Answer: Richard Brautigan