Carolyn Turgeon was born in Michigan grew up in Illinois, Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania. She studied English and Italian literature at Penn State and received a Master's in Comparative Literature from UCLA. She is the author of Rain Village, Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story, and Mermaid. She lives between Pennsylvania and New York.
This biography was last updated on 06/19/2011.
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How did you decide to write about circuses?
It really began a bit randomly, the way things do. I had written a short story for a class I took in college with Paul West, about this strange rain-soaked place called Rain Village. That original narrator, Alice, mentions, very briefly, how a carnival goes through the village once a year, how they all go to see the girl on the trapeze, who hangs above them like a wingless bird while they wait for her to fall. This was just a random couple of lines; I had been taken with the beauty of trapeze because of the German film Wings of Desire, those gorgeous, melancholy black-and-white scenes of Solveig Dommartin with her white feathered wings, Nick Cave playing in the background. Anyway, years later, as that short story developed into a book, the trapeze girl Tessa became one of the narratorsthe first draft was five narrators all talking about Rain Village and their relationships to itand then, eventually, the sole narrator, when it became clear that her voice was the strongest. Rain Village became the place Tessas mentor Mary Finn was from, and the original narrator Alice dropped out completely. And the more I told Tessas story, which, naturally, included ...
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