It’s time for #6Degrees – join in! Link up!
We begin this month with a book that topped international best-seller lists – Patrick Süskind’s Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. I read Perfume many years ago – it was lent to me by a friend, who also gave me Neil Schaeffer’s The Marquis De Sade (clearly we were on an 18th-century French jaunt).
Bits of The Marquis De Sade made me physically sick. As did some of James Frey’s recollections in A Million Little Pieces.
After the release of A Million Little Pieces, Frey was accused of being a ‘literary fraud’, with many saying that his ‘memoir’ was more fiction than fact. It was a similar situation for Australian author, Helen Demidenko, who falsely claimed Ukrainian ancestry as part of the basis of her book, The Hand that Signed the Paper.
The Hand that Signed the Paper was about a Ukrainian family’s involvement with the Nazis during the Holocaust. It won the Miles Franklin award in 1994. Anna Funder’s novel, All That I Am, also won the Miles Franklin (in 2012) and also gives a different perspective on Nazi activity – it tells the story of four German-Jewish anti-Hitler activists forced to flee to London.
War stories told from the perspective of the ‘enemy’ always grab my interest and there are elements of this type of storytelling in the book that I’m currently reading – Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North made my (rigorously composed) list of Best Books of 2014 as decided by #ALLTHEREVIEWERS. Also on the list was The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters, another book I’m planning to read this year.
So, my chain started in 18th-century France, had a brief stint in re-hab and then became completely dominated by WWII stories. I wonder where other chains will take us?
In honour of the recent 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, next month’s chain (June 4, 2016) will begin with Romeo and Juliet.