A daughters astonishing memoir of pushing past fear, through life in a traveling sideshow and her mothers illnessTurns out, one lesson applies to living through illness, keeping the show on the road, letting go of the person you love most, and eating fire:The trick is there is no trick. You eat fire by eating fire. Two journeysa daughters and a mothersbear witness to this lesson in 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 couldnt 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, Americas 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....
|Title||:||The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts|
|Number of Pages||:||384 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Download » The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts|
The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts Reviews
I received an advance reader copy from publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux via NetGalley.
Tessa Fontaine was 30 when she was invited for a 5-month stint with America's last traveling sideshow, the World of Wonders. She started as a bally girl (someone that lures people to buy tickets for the show), then progressed to snake handling, handcuff escape, and fire eating. But her education in the sideshow arts did not end there. She performed the illusion of a 4-legged lady and what she considered her ...more
Fantastic read. Well written with some very colorful characters. I was engrossed from start to finish. This is about Teresa's mothers struggles while getting better after a stroke and about Tessa being in a Carnival. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Netgalley
Just fantastic. Fontaine's memoir is striking in both subject and style. She's not afraid to show her vulnerabilities, pettiness, and really dig into some deep emotional shit. She has an amazing ability to allow the reader to process her grief in real-time.
So many good carnival stories, too. All the chef kisses.
The trick is, There is no trick. Sage words coming from the author as she plunges into an unknowable world of a side show of all things. Why a side show we ask. The only thing comes to mind has to do with adrenaline rush and exploring a curious new world. Ms. Fontaine took us on a nervous (for me, as hollywood had me preparing for disaster at every moment) knife box, sword swallowing trip working with people who appear threatening at first. Come to find out, with the author's help, carnies are g ...more
I just finished the best memoir I've read in years -- TheElectric Woman by Tessa Fontaine. It’s about a young woman who literally leaves the difficulties of her life behind to join the circus as a performer. She works as a snake charmer, fire eater, and ultimately as the woman who withstands the electricity in the electric chair. Half the book is her adventures with the circus and the people she meets. The other half is her reflections back on her mother who had a massive stroke and the seeming ...more
Tessa Fontaine has a very good writing style and really makes the two story lines of her mom’s illness and her summer with the traveling side-show come alive. I don’t quite agree with how she laid out the timeline of the book - there are a few places where it seems she jumps back and forth unnecessarily in time - but it is really interesting.
Many years ago, my aunt married a carnival mechanic.
The marriage didn’t last long but while they were together I was given the opportunity to work at the carnival. As a 13-year-old getting unsupervised time in a carnival felt like an amazing gift even if it meant working in one of those lame Feed the Ducks booths. Each night once the place has officially closed, temp staff like myself could ride the scariest ride for as long as they wanted. I loved every second.
So, when I saw this memoi ...more
Loved this book! Tessa Fontaine gives you a glimpse into the rarely seen world of a traveling carnival show, while paralleling an ongoing traumatic family struggle. Gritty and glamorous, heart breaking and heart warming, funny and frightening; Fontaine takes you up and down through this memoir. What is fact and what is fiction in a world of headless women and sword swallowers? The Electric Woman is a must read.