Six Degrees of Separation!

Six Degrees of Separation is the brainchild of Kate over at Books Are My Favourite and Best where we all start with the same book and see where our links take us!

Follow the hashtag #6degrees on Twitter to check out everyone else’s chains!

This month the chain starts a cook book – The Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver – which was a massive hit way back in 1999 following the success of the TV show of the same name which launched Oliver’s career.

A cook book writer is the main protagonist in Heartburn by Nora Ephron, an autobiographical novel about Rachel, whose husband leaves her when she is pregnant with their second child.

Another woman abandoned during pregnancy is Charity Royall, the main character in Edith Wharton’s novella Summer. Written in bursts whilst Wharton performed charity work in France during the First World War, Summer drew an equal measure of fame and scandal upon first publication for its defiant depiction of female sexual awakening.

Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls also met with scandal on publication for its depiction of female sexual awakening, and its critique of the Catholic Church in Ireland. The Irish censorship board banned The Country Girls upon its publication, adding it to a list of over 1600 books banned in Ireland.

A book which has been the subject of many attempts to ban it in libraries across the United States is Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic which chronicles the author’s childhood and youth in rural Pennsylvania, focusing on her complex relationship with her father and exploring themes of class, gender and sexuality.

Class, gender and sexuality are themes in another book about family, this time in The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Now considered a classic, the book is structured as a series of subtle vignettes, telling the story of Esperanza Cordero, a 12-year-old Chicana girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago.

William Burroughs also uses the literary device of vignettes to tell a very different story in Naked Lunch, in which the reader follows the narration of junkie William Lee, who takes on various aliases, from the U.S. to Mexico, eventually to Tangier and the dreamlike Interzone.

The vignettes, which Burroughs said could be read in any order, are drawn from Burroughs’ own travels and his experience of drug addiction.

So there we have it, from a Naked Chef to a Naked Lunch, these are my 6 Degrees of Separation for November. Have you read any of the links in my chain?

Six Degrees

Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

14 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I have only read one of your chain – Edith Wharton’s Summer – but I do know some of the others, like Nora Ephron’s and Edna O’Brien’s. Interestingly, I read another chain that ended on The naked lunch which is interesting as you’d think it would more likely be the first link.


  2. There are a surprising number of books with naked in their titles! I enjoyed Heartburn, tolerated Burroughs, but after seeing the rather good stage musical version of Fun Home at the Young Vic a few years ago, couldn’t get into Bechdel’s graphic novel style memoir.


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