It’s time for #6Degrees and truly, it’s easy to play (no rules, just bookish fun) – join in!
This month we begin with Steve Martin’s Shopgirl (thanks to AnnaBookBel for the suggestion). I haven’t read Shopgirl and was wondering where to begin when Sue suggested starting with The Women in Black by Madeleine St John – both books are about women who work in department stores – perfect!
The Women in Black has been made into a musical – it’s glorious. Another Australian book that was adapted for the stage was Kate Grenville’s The Secret River. I’ve never read any Grenville (I know, what’s wrong with me?) but this particular story was also made into a television series (which was spectacular).
Rivers and television series form the next link to Nancy Cato’s All the Rivers Run. Oh dear god I loved this book when I was in my late teens, and my mum and I watched the tv series together, bawling through the entire thing.
I shared All the Rivers Run with my mum, but it was Marcus Clarke’s For the Term of his Natural Life that I shared with my dad. My dad told me the story when I was quite young. In retrospect, a grisly convict story is an odd choice for bedtime reading for a nine-year-old but I figure my dad must have been reading it himself and relayed what he’d read to me each night.
The Van Diemonian convict link brings me to Richard Flannagan’s Gould’s Book of Fish. It tells the story of convict and artist, William Buelow Gould, who first sketched the native fishes of Tasmania and in doing so created one of the earliest records of Australian freshwater species.
This links to Melissa Ashley’s The Birdman’s Wife, which tells the story of Elizabeth Gould (not her husband John, the famous ornithologist), who painted pictures of Australian native birds, again creating one of the earliest records of species. As far as I know, William Gould the fish artist, and Elizabeth Gould the bird artist, are not related.
From department stores and novel/stage/television adaptations to convict artists – that’s #6Degreess for another month. Where will other chains lead?