Nights at the Circus
is a 1984 novel by English author Angela Carter
. A picaresque
, it starts with roving American reporter Jack Walser interviewing aerialist Sophie Fevvers
in Victorian London on her amazing (if hard to credit) life story. Left on the doorstep of a brothel, Sophie sprouted wings when she hit puberty. Both because of this unusual feature and because she's a woman, there are many who would exploit her.
The rest of the novel follows the crew of a circus that has employed Sophie as an aerialist, and that Jack covers while working undercover as a clown. Further peril and no small amount of personal change await in Tsarist Russia and Siberia.
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