Night After Night

Front Cover
The circus is a world of magic, a place where performers - whether they be people or animals - call forth myths of old. In Night After Night, which relives a performance of The Big Apple Circus, the reader shares the same delight and surprise felt by the audience when the lights go up. Meet Katja Schumann, La Dame du Cirque, who enchants us with her equestrian wizardry and who gave birth to her second child after performing in the evening show; Zamoratte, the contortionist, who squeezes himself whole into a bottle; Anna May, the intuitive performer and seasoned pro, who happens to be a 49-year-old elephant; and Paul Binder, the Ringmaster, who is both master and servant of the spectacle. Diana Cooper spotlights the circus family with spellbinding stories from the performers themselves. Circus is more than mere entertainment: It is a classical art form that blends an immersion in fantasy with consummate skills and traditions. It is the only art form in which varied species work and play as equals. Citing philosophers, poets, and circus lore, Cooper illuminates the special relationship between humans and animals. She views circus as embodying a rich fount of ideas: human/animal coexistence, the beauties of diversity, the permutations of fantasy and reality, our relation to ourselves and the world around us, and notions of what is - and what is not - natural. For centuries circuses have evoked awe, fear, wonder, and joy. As Cooper writes, "We need fantasies, and circus acknowledges that fantasy is reality wildly elaborated, reality in focus". Night After Night captures the poetry of that spirit, pervading and surrounding us with the total magic of circus.

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User Review  - Kirkus

Poet Cooper's rapt meditations on circus life and a night's performance by the Big Apple Circus. Cooper shifts subjects as rapidly as a circus changes acts, starting with an overview: ``Seen from a ... Read full review

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