Six Degrees of Separation – from The Tiger in the Tiger Pit to And the Wind Sees All

Six Degrees of Separation is a meme hosted by Kate over at Books Are My Favourite and Best. It works like this: each month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the others on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain.

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Kate has set us something a little different this month. We’re all starting from the point at which each of us ended last month. For me that was Janette Turner Hospital’s The Tiger in the Tiger Pit which I had to confess I’d read so long ago I could barely remember it but Google came to the rescue reminding me that it’s about a fraught family celebration.

I’m using the author’s unusual last name as my jumping off point, linking to Austin Duffy’s This Living and Immortal Thing, which is set in a hospital, about a clinical researcher brought uncomfortably face-to-face with the disease he’s studying.

Workplaces rarely seem to feature in fiction although I’ve read several novels set in restaurants including Merrett Tierce’s Love Me Back narrated by Marie – smart, professional and hard-working on the outside – who makes her living waiting tables at a classy Dallas steakhouse.

Kim Thúy’s lovely Mãn also features a restaurant, owned by the husband of a Vietnamese woman who has left her homeland to marry him without ever having met him, a match made for security rather than love.

Which leads me to The Refugees written by Viet Thanh Nguyen, who fled with his parents from Vietnam to America in 1975. Written over twenty years, Nguyen’s stories explore the consequences of leaving one’s country under the most difficult of circumstances and its legacy.

From there it’s a very short leap to Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes’ breach, a collection of stories based on interviews with residents of the Calais refugee camp which came to be known as the Jungle, now disbanded.

breach is published by Peirene Press who produce just a handful of books a year, one of which was Guđmundur Andri Thorsson’s And the Wind Sees All in 2018. It takes place over the brief bicycle ride that Kata takes to the village hall in preparation for the evening’s concert, taking in the stories of the villagers who catch sight of her out of the corner of their eyes

This month’s Six Degrees of Separation has taken me from the familiar fictional territory of family reunions, secrets and lies to a two-minute bicycle ride around an Icelandic village. Part of the fun of this meme is comparing the routes other bloggers take from each month’s jumping off point, although this month we’ll be starting from entirely different places. If you’re interested, you can follow it on Twitter with the hashtag #6Degrees, check out the links over at Kate’s blog or perhaps even join in.

23 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – from The Tiger in the Tiger Pit to And the Wind Sees All

  1. Liz

    I always enjoy reading your chains, Susan, and this month is no exception! I’m pleased to be reminded about Mãn – it has got rather buried on my TBR, and I also like the sound of The Refugees.

    Reply
  2. Annabel (AnnaBookBel)

    I’ve always wondered how JTH got her interesting last name? I’ve never read her, but have her Preparation for the Plague somewhere I think. Man was such a lovely book, wasn’t it. I must read more from my Peirene TBR too. Some lovely links.

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      Thank you, Annabel. Those lovely descriptions of food and its link with homesickness are wonderful, aren’t they. And the Wind Sees All is an unusually cheery Peirene if you have it.

      Reply
  3. BookerTalk

    That was a clever link from Hospital to hospital…..
    I’d forgotten about Breach, meant to buy it when it first came out but then it disappeared into good intentions land

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      Thanks, Theresa. It always surprises me how little fiction is set in the workplace considering how much time we spend there, or perhaps that’s the problem!

      Reply

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