The lure of the circus that tempts every child has always seemed a world of never-ending fun. But Women of Illusion is a circus tale like none you've ever heard. Seldom do you come across insiders who have left the circus and are willing to tell their stories; Women of Illusion presents just such a tale. Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with Betty Huber, the eighty-year-old matriarch of the Cirkus Brumbach, and painstaking research into the history and culture of the circus, Donnalee Frega narrates a fascinating story of one circus family, the Hubers. Just as the circus audience only sees the glitter and the smiles, the Huber family only exhibits a proud face. But there is a surprising reality underneath, covered by the perpetual re-creation of self and the manipulation of identity. Frega untangles these layers and guides us through the glamour and the adventures, but also reveals what no ticket-buyer ever sees: a hard life punctuated by wandering, violence, and disaster, sometimes fatal. Drawing insightful conclusions on performance, identity, and image, Women of Illusion offers us a rare insight into a unique cultural sphere.
About Donnalee Frega
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Published May 1, 2001
by St. Martin's Press.
Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography.