This is the first Saturday of the month which means that it is time for Six Degrees of Separation, the book challenge, hosted by Kate from “Books are My Favourite and Best“.
This is such a fascinating challenge and one I am always eager to begin and follow the search for connected books. The fun is in the search for connections and each chain that is created is always so different.
(I have used Goodreads summaries for each book as I have not read most of these book)
The starting point for us this round is to begin with the 2021 Stella Prize winner, The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld.
“Surging out of the sea, the Bass Rock has for centuries watched over the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries the fates of three women are linked: to this place, to each other.”
I have not read this book or any by Wyld, nor any books which have won the Stella Prize. But I was intrigued by this author and hope to read her books
1st Degree: One of her earlier books also won prizes. All the Birds Singing is a story of loneliness and survival.
“a stunningly insightful, emotionally powerful new novel about an outsider haunted by an inescapable past: a story of loneliness and survival, guilt and loss, and the power of forgiveness.”
2nd Degree: Another prize winner, one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists (as was Wyle) is Sunjeev Sahota. who wrote The Year of the Runaways.
“A novel of extraordinary ambition and authority, about what it means and what it costs to make a new life—about the capaciousness of the human spirit, and the resurrection of tenderness and humanity in the face of unspeakable suffering.”
3rd Degree: Another Man Booker award nominee is Nigerian Chigozie Obioma with The Fishermen.
“In a small town in western Nigeria, four young brothers take advantage of their strict father’s absence from home to go fishing at a forbidden local river. They encounter a dangerous local madman who predicts that the oldest boy will be killed by one of his brothers. This prophecy unleashes a tragic chain of events of almost mythic proportions. “
4th Degree: This led to the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe who was considered the founder of the modern novel in Nigeria. His debut novel was Things Fall Apart.
“A simple story of a “strong man” whose life is dominated by fear and anger, Things Fall Apart is written with remarkable economy and subtle irony. Uniquely and richly African, at the same time it reveals Achebe’s keen awareness of the human qualities common to men of all times and places”
5th Degree: This led to another debut novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
“A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.”
6th Degree: Another debut novel that looks at the history of her country Ghana, is Yaa Gyasi with her novel Homegoing.
“Generation after generation, Yaa Gyasi’s magisterial first novel sets the fate of the individual against the obliterating movements of time, delivering unforgettable characters whose lives were shaped by historical forces beyond their control.”
I began with Evie Wyld (Bass Rock) and ended with Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing), amazing women writers who have both won awards and write about strong women. Along the way, we visited Britain, Australia, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Ghana.
Next month (July 3, 2021), we’ll start with a nonfiction modern classic, Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss.