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6 Degrees of Separation Fiction

6 Degrees of Separation: From The Rock to the Institute

It’s time for another adventure in Kate’s 6 Degrees of Separation Meme from her blog, Books Are My Favourite and Best. We are given a book to start with, and from there we free associate six books.

This month we start with the winner of the 2021 Stella Prize, The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld. I had hoped to finish the book before writing this post, but, you know, life intervenes. However, I’ve read enough to know that the novel presents the stories of three women in three different time periods. The shadow of the Bass Rock looms large over each woman’s life. 

1. As I was thinking about how to start this chain, I came across a description of Long Division by Kiese Laymon, published on June 1, which Lit Hub says depicts “One Mississippi town with two engaging stories in two very different decades.” Same place, different times.

2.Three Junes, Julia Glass’s debut novel (2002), takes place in the month of June in three different years over a 10-year span. Locations vary, but the time  of year is the same, so same time, different places. This novel has been sitting on my TBR shelf for probably about 10 years.

3. A recent debut novel that I loved is The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson. After receiving an MFA in writing, Johnson now studies American literature at Vanderbilt University.

4. The novel title Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? has always intrigued me; someday I must read it. Its author is Lorrie Moore, who is on the English faculty of Vanderbilt University.

5. Coma by Robin Cook, a novel set in a hospital, “kickstarted a new genre–the medical thriller” (according to Goodreads) on its publication in 1977. The protagonist of this novel discovers that patients are purposely being put into a vegetative state so that their organs can be used for transplants. The bodies are stored, suspended from the ceiling, at the Jefferson Institute, an isolated, heavily guarded offsite facility.

6. The Institute (2019) by Stephen King is a more recent portrayal of such an imposing medical facility. King’s Institute is a place for kids with “special talents” such as telekinesis and telepathy.

Of all these novels, I’ve only read two (The Space Between Worlds and Coma). I think I’ll pass on The Institute, but I’ll try to get to the remaining three—as soon as I finish The Bass Rock, that is.

a totally unrelated note

balloon that reads Happy Anniversary

Reader, 50 years ago today I married Mr. Notes in the Margin. Happy golden anniversary to the best guy in the world!

© 2021 by Mary Daniels Brown

2 replies on “6 Degrees of Separation: From The Rock to the Institute”

Happy Anniversary! What a milestone!

The only one I’ve heard of in your chain is Coma. I’m sure I read something by Cook as a teenager but can’t recall what. Not Coma, anyway.

I like the sound of both Long Division and Three Junes. Is there a reason you’ve yet to take it from your shelf?

I'd love to hear from you!