Six Degrees of Separation – from Where Am I Now to Growing Up Asian in Australia

It’s time for #6degrees. Start at the same place as other wonderful readers, add six books, and see where you end up!

This month we begin with Mara Wilson’s memoir, Where Am I Now? There were so many directions I could have gone with this but I decided to link to Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me) on the basis that both writers are currently appearing at the Melbourne Writers Festival.

During his talk, Coates referred to Toni Morrison. I recently read Morrison’s Beloved.

Beloved has been made into an opera. I don’t think there are too many modern novels that have been made into operas but one that comes to mind is Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto.

I haven’t read Bel Canto (yet – I will because Patchett! Opera!) but it was recommended to me by Annabel Smith. Annabel also recommended We the Animals by Justin Torres. Coincidentally, both books appear on this list.

Another book on that list that I’ve been meaning to read is Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.

Author Michelle Law referred to Crazy Rich Asians when she was talking about writing from a minority perspective at a MWF session on ‘sacred texts’. Law stated that one book can’t represent every experience and yet titles such as Crazy Rich Asians get unfairly marketed that way. Law is a contributor to a collection of essays about different experiences – Growing Up Asian in Australia.

From a Hollywood memoir to Asian-Australian memoirs, with opera and the Melbourne Writers Festival in between. Where will other chains go? Link up below or post your link in the comments section.

Next month (October 6, 2018), we’ll begin with a teen classic, The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.

31 responses

  1. Fascinating links. Good question about books turned into opera. It has happened a few times in Australia, including Voss, Cloudstreet and Bliss. Wikipedia – – lists over 190 novels turned to opera, not all modern though.

    And woo hoo, I have read The outsiders, not when I was a teen but as part of my Graduate studies in librarianship. That will be an interesting one to start from.

    • Growing Up Asian in Australia is an interesting collection if you ever come across a copy (I have it because it’s a text at my teenager’s school – it’s great when you can nick books off your kids!

    • It’s been a terrific festival. I saw Mara Wilson speak today – she is a sweetheart and her story, presented in a session titled ‘Tribute to My Lost Childhood’ was lovely.

    • That’s happens to me as well – I either mull over it for days or I can’t write it down fast enough! I usually set the book for the following month as I go however for a variety of reasons, I have chosen the Six Degrees books for the rest of the year (not telling yet!) – the book I picked for December provided immediate inspiration, so my chain is almost done!

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  3. Such an interesting chain! I especially love your Melbourne Writers’ Festival links. Bel Canto and Beloved are both high on my TBR list, and I can’t wait to watch the Crazy Rich Asians adaptation.

  4. I love ‘Six Degrees of Separation’, and find it quite it challenging at times. This month I did read Mara Wilson’s fascinating story. My choices followed most of her movie roles. I have read next month’s selection, and therefore will try not to think about the connections until the day.

  5. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation: From ‘Where Am I Now?’ to ‘Sex and Suffering’ | The Resident Judge of Port Phillip

  6. Another great list – and oh my, do the months go around quickly! I haven’t had time to play along this time, but am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things with The Outsiders 🙂

  7. I haven’t read the Mara Wilson book, but I found it an easier starting point than some of the recent ones! I haven’t read any of the other books in your chain either, but I would like to read Beloved.

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