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 others to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the titles on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain.
This month we’re starting with Carrie Fisher’s autobiographical novel, Postcards from the Edge, about an actress in rehab. I read this so long ago I can’t recall it in detail but I do remember that it’s a very funny piece of Hollywood satire.
The link’s in the title to Annie Proulx’s Wyoming-set short story collection, Postcards, first published when she was still E. Annie Proulx
Not a writer but Prince’s name change popped into my head so the next link has to be to Alice Walker’s classic The Colour Purple which tells the story of Cecile, an abused young black woman.
Which brings to mind another classic with a colour in the title, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, a tale of insanity and control.
Arsenic was one of the ingredients in the nineteenth-century manufacture of yellow, one of the snippets of esoteric information packed into Kassia St Clair’s enjoyable The Secret Lives of Colour.
Sticking with colour, at least in the title, Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow is my next link, a book raved about by my partner but I gave it up early on although I do remember that V-2 rockets are at its centre.
In contrast, I was riveted by Chaim Potok’s The Book of Lights which follows the son of one of the creators of the Atom bomb and his friend who becomes a rabbi in the military.
This month’s Six Degrees has taken me from a sharp slice of celebrity satire to a deeply moving and profound meditation on spirituality and war. Part of the fun of this meme is comparing the very different routes other bloggers take from each month’s starting point. 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.