Six Degrees of Separation – The Snow Child to Weasels in the Attic

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.

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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.

27 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – The Snow Child to Weasels in the Attic”

  1. I had forgotten about Oyeyemi’s work — she does add on that strange otherworldly layer to her work and makes the old fairy/folk-tale into something entirely new. Thanks for reminding again!

  2. Excellent links as always! The only one I’ve read is Passing, which is one of those books that I’m glad has been brought back into prominence in recent years. I did try to read The Snow Child – well, listen to the audiobook anyway – but it didn’t work for me despite its huge popularity at the time.

  3. I would like to read every single book in your chain, Susan, but Weasels in the Attic really caught my eye. I need to know what they talk about over their three dinners together!

  4. Wonderful chain this month, and I love each of your links; I certainly want to pick up Boy Snow Bird and Weasels in the Attic. I sill haven’t read Brit Bennett but she’d written the intro to the edition of Passing that I had and discusses its influence.

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