Old image alert – Kate @Books Are My Favourite & Best now hosts #6Degrees but this is a good refresh of the rules.
I’ve been rather distracted and all over the place these past few months.
November & December flew by in a blur of grief and busyness.
I sat down to write a January #6degrees post but inspiration failed me completely.
I’m hoping that February will turn things around.
1. It’s my birthday month
2. I’m turning 50
3. It’s my party & I’ll cry if I want to
4. I’m enjoying my first w/e at home for ages
5. A lovely cool change blew in to Sydney during the week
6. I’ve had my first Saturday morning sleep-in this year
7. Lincoln in the Bardo was one of my favourite books of 2017
So where to next?
Lincoln in the Bardo was a courageous choice for the Man Booker Prize judges.
Many people are still struggling with the whole international (i.e. American) nature of the prize now.
And Lincoln in the Bardo was not, and is not, a conventional book.
It’s structure and format frustrates and annoys many readers.
I however loved it from start to finish.
I had the same response to an earlier Booker winner that played around with structure and format, that many readers also failed to warm to… The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.
One of the things I loved about it was Catton’s ability to evoke such a strong sense of place.
It would be easy to now jump to Tim Winton as being another writer who has that amazing ability to write about place with such power, but I’m going to take a step to the right and pick Robert Drewe instead. His memoir styled story, Shark Net, struck a huge chord with me, even though I did not grow in WA in the 1960’s!
Madeleine St John’s The Women in Black is about a young girl coming of age in Sydney during the late 1950’s. Even though I did not grow up in Sydney during this time, I did visit Sydney a lot in the 70’s. Sydney in the 70’s was obviously not that different to Sydney in the 50’s – I recognised pretty much everything that St John mentioned.
Reading stories that reflect your own life and your own experiences are important.
Perhaps readers in England, Europe and the US don’t feel this as strongly, but it took quite some time for Australians to feel comfortable with their fellow Australians telling stories to and about us.
I could write post after post on the Cultural Cringe that infected our artistic life for so long.
My childhood was spent reading about children living in England and Northern America in particular. The first story that I remember reading, that was set in Australia, occurred during my teen years when I discovered Pastures of the Blue Crane by H. F. Brinsmead in my school library.