Under the Big Top

Steven Galloway
It is the summer of 1976 and Salvo Ursari, a man of retirement age, is walking on a taut wire strung between the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center, almost fourteen hundred feet above the city. Far below him in the gaping crowd stands his wife, Anna, to whom he has made a solemn promise: This wire walk will end his career. (from summary)
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
When a girl falls into a deep and impenetrable sleep, the borders between her provincial French village and the peculiar, beguiling realm of her dreams begin to disappear. (from summary)
Elizabeth Gaffney
Epic in sweep, Metropolis follows our hero from his arrival in New York harbor through his experiences in Barnum’s circus, the criminal underground, and the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, and on to a life in Brooklyn that is at once unique and poignantly emblematic of the American experience. (from summary)
Matthew Carnahan
(A) voyage into the darkest depths of carny life–and, remarkably, a tender love story to boot. (from summary)
Ray Bradbury
The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. The shrill siren song of a calliope beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. (from summary)
Betsy Carter
Leaving the Bronx far behind, (Delores Walker) is headed for sunny Weeki Wachee Springs, frayed roadside attraction in danger of becoming obsolete with the opening of Walt Disney's latest creation, only miles up the road. (from summary)
Rupert Holmes
Ray Sherwood is a big-band arranger whose current gig lands him at the 1940 World's Fair, which is taking place on Treasure Island, in San Francisco Bay...Sherwood starts to fall for (a) composer until her mother gives him shocking news about (her) parentage. (from BookList)
Richard Schmitt
A high-wire act in more ways than one, this...novel...tells the story of a restless young drifter who joins the circus and falls under its tarnished spell. (from Publishers Weekly)
Michael Raleigh
(Lewis Tully) leads an oddball circus ensemble across the recently tamed, dust-blown American West. There is only one thing (he) knows how to do, and that's run a circus--usually one that ends disastrously. But for Lewis and for its performers, the circus is in their blood. (from summary)
Cathy Day
From 1884 to 1939, the Great Porter Circus made the unlikely choice to winter in an Indiana town called Lima... Day follows the circus people into their everyday lives and brings the greatest show on earth to the page. (from summary)
Anne ursu
Hannah and Justin couldn't be more surprised when their shy son James volunteers for the magic act at the circus. The trick is spectacular and applause rings throughout the auditorium when James seems to disappear before their very eyes. The trouble is, he really did disappear. (summary)
Carrie Brown
The year is 1933, and on a sweltering summer morning, a baby is delivered in a hatbox to the Century of Progress Exposition - The World's Fair - in Chicago. The very, very tiny baby, born three months early, is brought by his desperate young father to the fair's famous incubator doctor, who exhibits live premature infants to the fair's gawking crowds. (from summary)
Pablo De Santis
It is 1889, and the entire world breathlessly anticipates the Paris World's Fair and the opening of Monsieur Eiffel's iconic tower. The Twelve Detectives -- a society of the twelve most famous, compelling, and dazzling detectives from around the world -- have been asked to discuss the secrets of their trade as part of the fair's lineup of events. (from summary)
Gruen, Sarah
The novel, told in flashback by nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski, recounts the wild and wonderful period he spent with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a traveling circus he joined during the Great Depression. (from summary)
Amanda Davis
After being attacked at a Homecoming game, 16-year-old Faith Duckle attempted suicide and was briefly hospitalized, losing 58 pounds in the process. She is haunted by "the Fat Girl," a hideously distorted version of her former self whom only Faith can see, and seeks a new identity and a new home with a traveling circus. (summary)