Woo hoo, tomorrow Daylight Savings starts here in eastern Australia and I can’t wait. I love the longer nights, and not being woken by the birds so early in the morning. But that’s tomorrow, today is Six Degrees of Separation day. Most of you know by now what that means, but for those who don’t, Six Degrees of Separation is a meme that is currently hosted by Kate (booksaremyfavouriteandbest). Click on the link on her blog-name to see her explanation of how it works.
I’m excited this month because it’s one of those rare occasions where I’ve read the starting book, which is SE Hinton’s The outsiders. It’s a YA novel, but I didn’t read it I didn’t read it when I was a young adult. I read it in fact for a course on children’s literature for my librarianship studies. I loved the course, and I really enjoyed this book. SE (Susan) Hinton wrote this, her first book, while she was still at high school.
I got that piece of information from Wikipedia, which also told me that she’s a private person who loves reading. The first author they list that she likes to read was – guess! Yep, Jane Austen! Now, which Jane Austen novel (or novels) have I not yet included in these Six Degrees posts? Emma (my review) … so I’ll make that my next link.
Now, Austen fans will know Austen’s famous statement about Emma. She wrote in a letter than “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” And it’s sort of true. There are people who don’t like Emma much. A recent novel I read which includes a character who, her author knows, some don’t like is Michelle de Kretser’s The life to come (my review). The character is Pippa, whom de Kretser herself doesn’t dislike!
But now, moving along. The life to come was de Kretser’s second Miles Franklin win. I have read and reviewed here another book that was its author’s second Miles Franklin win, Kim Scott’s That deadman dance (my review). In case you are interested, he won his first MF award with Benang: From the heart.
One of the important things about Scott’s novel is the different perspective it offers on the colonisation of Australia – an indigenous perspective. Another book by an indigenous author exploring colonisation from a different point of view – this one dystopian – is Claire G Coleman’s Terra nullius (my review)
From here I thought I could link to another book with characters from another planet, but not being a big reader of speculative fiction I don’t think I have any (since blogging at least). So, I’m going to stay with the colonisation theme, and choose another book looking at it from a different perspective, this one feminist. The book is Mirandi Riwoe’s The fish girl (my review).
Besides looking at colonisation, Riwoe’s Fish girl is a riff on – or a response to – an earlier text, Somerset Maugham’s short story, “The four Dutchmen.” This suggests a good last link, Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad (my review) which many of you will know is her take – her feminist take – on the Odyssey.
And so we come to the end of another Six Degrees meme, one that has taken us from 1960s to early 19th century England, and then to Australia where we spanned more than two centuries. We then crossed the sea just to Australia’s north – Indonesia – before finally time-travelling way back to Ancient Greece where we landed a long way from Hinton’s Oklahoma!
And now, over to you: Have you read The outsiders? And, regardless, what would you link to?