Nights at the Circus
Why this book?
Oh Fevvers - "Lor love you!" The opening words of this book chime in my heart like the bow bells. Sophie Fevvers, trapeze artist, Cockney Venus - face like a ‘meat dish,’ Fevvers who keeps her champagne in a cracked toilet bowl, on discarded fish ice from Billingsgate market. As the protagonist in Angela Carter’s magical realist masterpiece, Nights at the Circus, Fevvers lives and breathes London. London is in her nails and her hair, her bum, her voice, her attitude, and most of all in her history – she was hatched from an egg in a London brothel. Fevvers is the ultimate London heroine, shaped by the city’s grime, beauty, vulgarity, and kindness, and she carries London with her even when in the furthest reaches of Siberia. This is one of those books driven like a steam train by its central character, and I still remember where I was during each and every reading and re-reading of it.