'Our Lady of the Circus', a book by Mexican writer David Toscana, tells the tale of a troupe of performers/"freaks" who struggle to make it on their own after being kicked out of a once-formidible circus. Travelling through a remote part of Mexico, they come across an abandoned mining town and decide to make it their own. However, trying to create a new life for themselves is hard for these eccentric individuals. They each randomly pick a piece of paper from the magician's hat to see which town role they should play: the midget takes the role of a priest, the bearded lady as doctor, the strong-man as whore, the contortionist as the town "Negro", and so on. The absurbities and tragedies that ensue are at the same time humorous, shocking and bizarre. An extremely hard book to categorise!
This report prepared by J. Hatton