On Sale: February 19, 2019
Hardcover / e-Book
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Welcome to the surreal and sublime human circus of Mark
Mayer’s Michener-Copernicus–winning debut, Aerialists, a
fiercely inventive collection of nine stories in which
classic carnival characters become ordinary misfits seeking
grandeur in a lonely world.
Under the luminous tent of Mayer’s prose, we meet an
unforgettable caravan: a heartsick boy finds a new mentor in
a tough-talking female bodybuilder. A navy recruit grapples
with the impending loss of his childhood by building an
exact replica of his neighborhood in code. With the help of
a flatulent dog, a boy tries to reunite his parents. A
wilderness expert tries to seduce his love interest with the
promise of showing her an elusive mountain lion.
The circus has always been a collection of American
exaggerations—the bold, the beautiful, the freakish, the
big. Aerialists finds these myths in everyday contemporary
life. Mayer’s deftly drawn characters illuminate small-scale
spectaculars, and their attempted acts of daring and feats
of strength are rendered with humor, generosity, and
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