New Story: “The Borovsky Circus Goes to Littlefield”

I have a short story in Issue 12 of Hobart, which is available for pre-order now. I’m delighted to be in the same table of contents as some of my favorite writers (and people) like Roxane Gay and Brian Oliu. My piece, “The Borovsky Circus Goes to Littlefield,” is about a traveling Russian circus whose promoters abandon it in a small town in Texas. This story was a bit of an experiment for me. It’s written as sort of a series of flashes, each narrated through a different point of view character. I think it came out really well and I’m super jazzed about it, so go get it!

Hobart is one of my favorite magazines and one of the fun things they do is ask authors to create “DVD-style bonus materials” to help promote the new issues. I created a Google Map of Littlefield, Texas, complete with some little anecdotes outside the purview of the original story. Go check out all the fun bonus materials, and be sure to nab a copy of Issue 12!

Here’s a little preview of “The Borovsky Circus Goes to Littlefield”:

Originally from India, Sandeep came with the circus from Russia for a two-year, forty-city tour across the Western United States. They were billed as The Great Baker Circus, though at home they are called The Borovsky Circus. There are clowns, gymnasts, jugglers, aerial artists, and a menagerie of animals whose native lands span the globe: Indian tigers, African elephants, Russian horses, hulking Canadian bears, German toy poodles that stand on top of one another like oranges in a crate.

Three cities into their tour, the promoters have pulled their money. Far from the peaceful snowdrifts of Moscow and even farther from the lush green forests of Dalma, the circus is stuck in the arid Texas desert. The performers and trainers did not know this could happen. Their contract was in English. Between them they speak most languages, but they only read Russian, Mandarin, Swedish, a little Cantonese and Urdu. The lawyer translated the basics of what they were signing. This clause, he did not translate.

4 thoughts on “New Story: “The Borovsky Circus Goes to Littlefield”

  1. Is this story based upon fact? I have an ancestor to whom this happened and his surname was Hirsch!

    1. Really? That’s so interesting! I wouldn’t say it’s based too solidly on anything factual, but the inspiration came from this story ( about an equestrian circus abandoned by its promoters in 2009. After I heard about it on the news, I couldn’t let it go. I came up with the idea of housing my circus in an empty prison and the story took off. I chose the end the story with a section in the point of view of an equestrian artist, as a sort of nod to the Artania Equestrian Circus.

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