Six Degrees of Separation (via the printed word)

When I saw my book mentioned in a ‘six degrees of separation’ post at ANZ Litlovers, I was rather chuffed, so I’ve decided to have a go myself.  Run by Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman, this month’s book is Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.

bell jar

Any mention of Sylvia Plath brings to mind her battle with clinical depression and her ultimate suicide, a subject which is beautifully captured in Antonella Gambotto’s The Eclipse: A memoir of suicide.


Gambotto’s name reminds me of an interview I read in an anthology of hers a long time ago. It opens with a quote from Richard Neville who says: ‘I think everyone wants to be Oscar Wilde’. Dear Oscar, a man so widely quoted.  Despite a wide body of work, I think he only published one novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, which is usually classified as Gothic Horror.


A classic Gothic Horror novel (and one of my favourites) is Bram Stokers Dracula, a story told largely through documents and letters (epistolary).


A great contemporary novel written in the epistolary form is Lionel Shriver’s 2003 novel We need to talk about Kevin which won the 2005 Orange Prize.

talk about kevin

Whenever I think about the Orange Prize, The Idea of Perfection comes to mind written by Kate Grenville, one of Australia’s best known authors.  I can’t think of a better place to end.


Fancy having a go yourself? Here’s the rules…








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6 responses to “Six Degrees of Separation (via the printed word)

  1. annabelsmith

    Hi Karenlee and thanks so much for taking part in our meme. I haven’t read much gothic horror and had no idea Dracula was an epistolary novel. I’ve been making a list of epistolary novels because my soon-to-be released novel The Ark is in that format. I’ve been putting off reading We Need to Talk about Kevin for years (scared of the subject matter) but knowing this is also an epistolary novel gives me the impetus I need to tackle it. I loved that you finished with The Idea of Perfection – a wonderful book. Thanks for playing.

  2. Yes, I agree, The Idea of Perfection is a wonderful book, one of my all time favourites:)

  3. Very cool game! I’m might fancy a go myself. I went to Pere Lachaise while in Paris and Oscar Wilde’s grave had even more ornamentation than Jim Morrison. I was surprised by that. I’m in love with almost all of your degrees!

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