Nights at the Circus
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.
- Big Beautiful Woman: You might expect a flying woman to be small and sylphlike. In this case, you'd be wrong.
- Circus of Fear: Not exactly evil, but certainly dangerous.
- Eagle Land: Jack is a likeable but in some ways painfully naive archetype of the American abroad.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys
- Functional Magic
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Sophie's adoptive mother Lizzie
- Magic Realism
- Winged Humanoid: Well, yeah.