The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno (Paperback)

By Ellen Bryson

Griffin, 9780312577124, 331pp.

Publication Date: June 7, 2011

July 2010 Indie Next List

“This novel offers a look inside P.T. Barnum's famous American Museum in nineteenth-century New York. How would it feel to be 'The World's Thinnest Man?' Embarrassed, ashamed, sad? No, Bartholomew Fortuno feels his unusual body is actually a gift to the world. That is, until he meets Iell, the world's most beautiful and mysterious Bearded Lady. Are they unique people or freaks of nature? You decide after reading this winning and wondrous novel.”
— Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI
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Bartholomew Fortuno, the World's Thinnest Man, believes that his unusual body is a gift. Hired by none other than P.T. Barnum to work at his spectacular American Museum a modern marvel of macabre displays and live performances by Barnum's cast of freaks and oddities Fortuno has reached the pinnacle of his career. But after a decade of solid performance, he finds his contentment flagging. When a carriage pulls up outside the Museum in the dead of night, bearing Barnum and a mysterious veiled woman rumored to be a new performer Fortuno's curiosity is piqued. And when Barnum asks Fortuno to follow her and report back on her whereabouts, his world is turned upsidedown. Why is Barnum so obsessed with this woman? Who is she, really? And why has she taken such a hold of the hearts of those around her?

The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno is a moving novelabout human appetites and longings. With pitch-perfect prose, Ellen Bryson explores what it means to be profoundly unique and the power of love to transcend even the greatest divisions.

About the Author

ELLEN BRYSON holds a BA in English from Columbia University and an MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. Formerly a modern dancer, she lives in Southern California. The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno is her first novel.