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 Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child which I’ve not read but I gather it’s based on a Russian fairy tale about a childless couple who one day find a little girl on their land.
There’s more than a whiff of the fairy tale about Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy Snow Bird, a tale of race and identity
Oyeyemi’s novel sees a Black child born to a White mother bringing to mind Nell Larsen’s classic Passing in which a woman of colour lives as a white person.
As does one of the sisters in Britt Bennett’s The Vanishing Half which I felt owed a lot to Passing.
Sisters made me think of Tayari Jones’ Silver Sparrow in which one sister knows nothing of the other’s existence.
Leading me to Joan Silber’s Secrets of Happiness in which a brother and sister are unaware they have half-siblings
Silber’s book read to me like a set of linked short stories but was marketed as a novel as was Hiroko Oyamada’s Weasels in the Attic which sees one man share three dinners with his friend, each episode a separate story but closely linked to the others.
This month’s Six Degrees has taken me from a novel which sees the sudden, apparently miraculous appearance of a child to a slightly surreal tale of three dinners shared by friends. 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.