I was young and so very green, but I knew this was an enormous opportunity. However, it came with something a lot weightier -- history. Holst, himself a former Ringmaster, informed me that if I were to accept the position I would be the first black American in what was then the 129-year history of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey to preside as Ringmaster.
Erika Swyler's debut novel, The Book of Speculation, tells the story of a family haunted by their mother's past. As Simon learns more about his mother's life both inside and outside of the circus, he comes to view his family gifted with ability to hold their breath like sea creatures and see the past and future through the tarot to be both incredibly susceptible to death in the water and lacking insight into their own conditions.