A world of wandering mushroom tents, spawning on bare paddocks beside some small town and then off again ... places that smelt of milk and wheat, where the farmer people gave you milk and apples, or melons; you got fresh water to drink and a bath sometimes. A dirty, strenuous world. Cruel, courageous, a hard, hungry world for all the glitter and flare of its laughter; but a good world, her world.’
Welcome to Haxby’s Circus - the lightest, brightest little show on earth. From Bendigo to Narrabri, travelling the long and dusty roads between harvest fields, the Haxby family and their troupe - acrobats, contortionists, wirewalkers, clowns and wild beasts - perform under the glaring lights of the big top.
But away from the spotlight and superficial glamour of the circus the real, and sometimes tragic, lives of the performers are exposed: their hopes and dreams, successes and failures, the drudgery of life on the road.
Proprietor Dan Haxby lives by the maxim ‘the show must go on’, even when his daughter Gina, the bareback rider, has a dreadful accident. Gina may never ride again, but, with some advice from circus dwarf Rocca, who shows her how to transform her liability into art, she flourishes and discovers a courageous spirit within.
‘Katharine Susannah Prichard takes the raw material of our lives and transmutes it into the gold of literature’ -- Mary Durack
About the Author
Katharine Susannah Prichard (4 December 1883 – 2 October 1969) was an Australian author and co-founding member of the Communist Party of Australia.