Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly meme hosted by Annabel and Emma. You start with one book and then make six connections in anyway you see fit (for official rules, see below). This month we’re starting off with The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
I will start by being exceedingly obvious and connecting the bird on the front of The Goldfinch to the birds on the front of Snapper by Brian Kimberling.
Snapper is a novel that I wish had gotten more attention; it’s a character rich, love letter to the state of Indiana and it is brilliant (not that I’ve reviewed it yet, don’t get me started on my reviewing slump as of late). Although this is connected to nothing else on this list, the book features a glittery pick-up truck. Glitter! And it is named Gypsy Moth. I let that sink in, or just go ahead and buy the book. Whichever.
In another ode to geography, Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo is more of a eulogy for a dying small town than a love letter. Regardless, like Snapper, Nobody’s Fool features a wide range of eccentric characters and a place that’s waiting for its luck to change.
I love when writers can create have a sense of place, and nowhere is that more apparent than in William Gay’s set of short stories I Hate To See That Evening Sun Go Down. The collection is a love letter to a forlorn corner of Tennessee and an excellent example of Southern fiction.
There is probably no modern, living writer that defines southern fiction like Cormac McCarthy and Child of God is a great example, particularly for Tennessee. I don’t have much to say about it except read it. It’s both sordid and humorous.
Speaking of southern fiction, James Dickey’s Deliverance may epitomize masculine writing (according to the list of books men must read), but it also depicts rural, southern Appalachia quite well. It’s also a rather twisted, suburban men’s adventure story of survival in the wilderness.
For the final book I choose my favorite adventure story I read as a child – Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Regardless of intended demographic, this book is the ultimate survival story (it’s the gateway to Deliverance).
So there you have it, from The Goldfinch to Hatchet in six easy steps. If you started with The Goldfinch, where would you end up?