9th Ave: Tessa Fontaine and Shawn Wen

Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 7:30pm

This event will be held at our 9th Ave. location.

 

 

Tessa Fontaine discusses her new memoir The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts with Shawn Wen.

 

Praise for The Electric Woman

 

In a word: wow. I read The Electric Woman in a hallucinatory fever filled with hospital beds and carnival rides, gray eyes and biting boa constrictors, brain bleeds and headless bodies, fire eaters and electrified women. Tessa Fontaine is a real-life snake charmer—her writing hooked and hypnotized me from page one. I had to read just one more chapter, just one more until I reached the end of her extraordinary memoir, dismayed that it was over but so grateful for the unforgettable ride.” —Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire

 

“Somewhere between knives and fire beats the heart of a young woman daring herself to live. In her memoir, The Electric Woman, Tessa Fontaine weaves her way through a mother-death story and a daughter-coming-alive story against the backdrop of America’s last traveling sideshow. There are so many ways to bring ourselves back to life. So many people along the way who become our secular guardian angels. This story is a breathtaking, fire-eating, heart-stopping, death-defying thrill.” —Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan

 

A beautiful and ferocious book, The Electric Woman comes packed with magnificent stories of carnival tricks, transcending the limits of the body, and the bravery of survivors and caretakers. Yet, somehow no marvel is more wondrous than the writing itself. Fontaine's memoir is a brilliant testament to family, grief, love, and the astonishing trick of being—and feeling—alive.” —Annie Hartnett, author of Rabbit Cake

 

About The Electric Woman

 

For three years Tessa Fontaine lived in a constant state of emergency as her mother battled stroke after stroke. But hospitals, wheelchairs, and loss of language couldn’t hold back such a woman; she and her husband would see Italy together, come what may. Thus Fontaine became free to follow her own piper, a literal giant inviting her to “come play” in the World of Wonders, America’s last traveling sideshow. How could she resist?

 

Transformed into an escape artist, a snake charmer, and a high-voltage Electra, Fontaine witnessed the marvels of carnival life: intense camaraderie and heartbreak, the guilty thrill of hard-earned cash exchanged for a peek into the impossible, and, most marvelous of all, the stories carnival folks tell about themselves. Through these, Fontaine trained her body to ignore fear and learned how to keep her heart open in the face of loss.

 

A story for anyone who has ever imagined running away with the circus, wanted to be someone else, or wanted a loved one to live forever, The Electric Woman is ultimately about death-defying acts of all kinds, especially that ever constant: good old-fashioned unconditional love.

 

 

 

 

The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374158378
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 1st, 2018

Tessa Fontaine’s astonishing memoir of pushing past fear, The Electric Woman, follows the author on a life-affirming journey of loss and self-discovery—through her time on the road with the last traveling American sideshow and her relationship with an adventurous, spirited mother.


A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941411483
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Sarabande Books - July 11th, 2017

An Indie Next Pick for July 2017

"7 Best Books of July," Men's Journal

"10 Titles to Pick Up Now," O, The Oprah Magazine

"Most Anticipated Books of 2017," The Millions


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