Is Sophie Fevvers, toast of Europe's capitals, part swan...or all fake?
Courted by the Prince of Wales and painted by Toulouse-Lautrec, she is an aerialiste extraordinaire and star of Colonel Kearney's circus. She is also part woman, part swan. Jack Walser, an American journalist, is on a quest to discover the truth behind her identity. Dazzled by his love for her, and desperate for the scoop of a lifetime, Walser has no choice but to join the circus on its magical tour through turn-of-the-nineteenth-century London, St Petersburg and Siberia.
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Nights at the Circus is a glorious enchantment. But an enchantment which is rooted in an earthy, rich and powerful language...It is a spell-binding achievement - Literary Review
A glorious piece of work, a set-piece studded with set-pieces. The narrative has a splendid ripe momentum, and each descriptive touch contributes a pang of vividness. By doing possible things impossibly well, the book achieves a major enchantment - Times Literary Supplement
A mistress-piece of sustained and weirdly wonderful Gothic that's both intensely amusing and also provocatively serious. This is a big, superlatively imagined novel - Observer
Angela Carter was born in 1940. She lived in Japan, the United States and Australia. Her first novel, Shadow Dance, was published in 1965. Her next book, The Magic Toyshop, won the John Llewllyn Rhys Prize and the next, Several Perceptions, the Somerset Maugham Award. She died in February 1992.