The Circus in Winter

The Circus in Winter

By Cathy Day

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151010486, 288pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2004


From 1884 to 1939, the Great Porter Circus made the unlikely choice to winter in an Indiana town called Lima, a place that feels as classic as Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, and as wondrous as a first trip to the Big Top. In Lima an elephant can change the course of a man's life-or the manner of his death. Jennie Dixianna entices men with her dazzling Spin of Death and keeps them in line with secrets locked in a cedar box. The lonely wife of the show's manager has each room of her house painted like a sideshow banner, indulging her desperate passion for a young painter. And a former clown seeks consolation from his loveless marriage in his post-circus job at Clown Alley Cleaners. Cathy Day follows the circus people into their everyday lives and brings the greatest show on earth to the page.

About the Author

CATHY DAY grew up in Peru, Indiana, once the winter homem of several circuses. One of her great-uncles was the world's fastest ticket taker, another was an elephant trainer. She lives in Ewing, New Jersey, and teaches at The College of New Jersey.