It’s time again for Six Degrees of Separation, a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. Each month a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain.
This month the Six Degrees chain begins with Postcards From the Edge by Carrie Fisher. It’s a novel about an actress in rehab; Carrie Fisher’s bestselling debut novel, an uproarious commentary on Hollywood – the home of success, sex and insecurity, that has become a beloved cult classic.
I haven’t read this book but the title made me think of Susannah Clapp’s A Card from Angela Carter, in which she uses the postcards Angela had sent to her to ‘form a paper trail through her life.’ It is mainly Susannah’s recollections of Angela, full of stories of her family life, her political views and what the critics made of her work.
Moving on from a book about Angela Carter to one by her my second link is to The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, a collection of tales inspired by traditional fairy tales and legends.
I’m staying with fairy tales for my third link, The Ladies of Grace and Adieu by Susanna Clarke, a collection of stories of mystery, magic, fantasy and faerie tales. The story I enjoyed the most was The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse set in Wall, a village in the world created by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess.
So, Neil Gaiman is my next link – The Graveyard Book, the story of the baby who escapes a murderer intent on killing his entire family, and who stumbles into the local disused graveyard where he is rescued by ghosts.
Ghosts provide my fifth link with Giving Up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel. As a child she believed their house was haunted. Her experience of ghosts at the age of 7 was horrifying as she felt as though something came inside her, ‘some formless, borderless evil’.
Staying with Hilary Mantel my final link is to her biography of an actress, Dora Jordan and her life with the Duke of Clarence, later King William IV. It’s Mrs Jordan’s Profession: The Story of a Great Actress and a Future King, which also links (somewhat loosely) back to the opening book written by an actress.
My chain begins with a novel about Hollywood linking together books about fantasy, fairy tales ghosts and actresses. It’s a circle which came about quite by chance as I moved from one link to the next, not knowing where it would end! I’ve read all these books, apart from The Bloody Chamber which is waiting in my Kindle to be read.
For the second month in a row, my chain does not include any crime fiction!
Have you read Postcards from the Edge. Where would your chain end up?
Next month, on the 4 September 2021, we’ll start with the 2021 Booker Prize nominee, Second Place by Rachel Cusk.