Our Lady of the Circus by David Toscana

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Synopsis

The latest offering by acclaimed Mexican writer David Toscana is a whimsical and dark tale about a group of circus performers who, disillusioned with their lives as traveling entertainers, are seduced by the idea of settling down and living like ordinary people.

Our Lady of the Circus begins with the once formidable circus of the Mantecón Brothers breaking apart, resulting in one brother taking with him the best of the group. Left behind is brother Don Alejo, who tries to rally the remaining troupe of eight stragglers and a pig. Together they stumble upon an abandoned town, where the demoralized performers seize the opportunity to start over and christen it Santa María del Circo.

What ensues is an absurd and tragic look at the misfits' struggle to create new lives for themselves. Through these desperate characters, Toscana skillfully reveals the many defects of humanity and the individual's desire for self-realization, and, in so doing, creates a touching metaphor for the human condition.
 

About David Toscana

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David Toscana lives in Monterrey, Mexico. The author of Tula Station, he was a participant in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.
 
Published September 20, 2001 by Thomas Dunne Books. 256 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The story begins on the road, when a splinter group of performers (magician, human cannonball, aerialist, et al.) led by Don Alejo Montécon (who has quarreled with his brother, circus co-owner Ernesto) settles in an abandoned town—and immediately abandons the rigors of performing.

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Publishers Weekly

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A group of eight stranded circus performers colonize an abandoned town in this darkly humorous and poignantly allegorical novel by Mexican writer Toscana (Tula Station).

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