#6Degrees 6 Degrees of Separation: From Sanditon to Oliver Loving

It’s the first Saturday of the month so it’s time for 6 Degrees of Separation!

Here’s how it works: a book is chosen as a starting point by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best and linked to six other books to form a chain. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book.

Kate says: Books can be linked in obvious ways – for example, books by the same authors, from the same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings. Or, you may choose to link them in more personal or esoteric ways: books you read on the same holiday, books given to you by a particular friend, books that remind you of a particular time in your life, or books you read for an online challenge. Join in by posting your own six degrees chain on your blog and adding the link in the comments section of each month’s post.   You can also check out links to posts on Twitter using the hashtag #6Degrees

This month’s starting book is Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, Sanditon.

The Black Prince by Adam Roberts is based on Anthony Burgess’s unpublished screenplay and notes. Burgess, writing in Paris Review in 1973, said, “I’m working on a novel intended to express the feel of England in Edward III’s time… The fourteenth century of my novel will be mainly evoked in terms of smell and visceral feelings, and it will carry an undertone of general disgust rather than hey-nonny nostalgia“.

Anthony Burgess was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1980 for his novel, Earthly Powers. It tells the story of two men – one an eminent novelist and the other a priest who rises to the highest rank of the Catholic Church. It has the memorable opening line, “It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.”

Also shortlisted in 1980 was Alice Munro, for The Beggar Maid. (Both Burgess and Munro lost out to William Golding for Rites of Passage.) Munro’s short story collection, Runaway, includes three linked stories about a woman named Juliet. (They formed the basis for the film, Julieta.)

Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge is also a collection of connected short stories featuring the slightly irascible Olive and set in the community of Crosby in Maine. The book won the Pulitzer Prize, as did another book set in Maine, Empire Falls by Richard Russo. Empire Falls is a blue-collar town full of abandoned mills that has seen better days.

Another book that includes a depiction of an economically challenged town, this time in West Texas, is Oliver Loving by Stefan Merrill Block. In the book, dramatic events at Bliss County Day School’s annual dance have cast a pall over a town already struggling with tensions over immigration from Mexico, informal segregation between the Hispanic and white population and concerns about drugs being brought across the border.

Where did your chain take you this month? Next month’s starting book is Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

The Black PrincerunawayOlive KitteridgeOliver Loving

9 thoughts on “#6Degrees 6 Degrees of Separation: From Sanditon to Oliver Loving

  1. Interesting links. I’ve only read A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Love the phrase “hey-nonny nostalgia”.
    Will definitely check out Adam Roberts’ novel.


  2. Loved how you worked Olive in there (although I must say that the cover of that edition of Olive doesn’t sit with my memory of the book….). And thank you for the Empire Falls prompt – this has been on my TBR for eons.


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