Nights at the Circus


Nights at the Circus is a novel by British writer Angela Carter, first published in 1984 and that year's winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. The novel focuses on the life and exploits of Sophie Fevvers, a woman who is – or so she would have people believe – a Cockney virgin, hatched from an egg laid by unknown parents and ready to develop fully fledged wings. At the time of the story, she has become a celebrated aerialiste, and she captivates the young journalist Jack Walser, who runs away with the circus and falls into a world that his journalistic exploits had not prepared him to encounter. Nights at the Circus incorporates multiple categories of fiction, including postmodernism, magical realism, and postfeminism. As in her previous works, Carter plays with many literary aspects and dissects the traditional fairy tale structure. In 2006, the novel was adapted for the stage by Tom Morris and Emma Rice for Kneehigh Theatre Company. It was performed at the Lyric Hammersmith, London, Bristol Old Vic, Bristol and then toured.
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date of publication: 1984
genre: speculative fiction novel
narrative location: London

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