Vladivostok Circus

Vladivostok Circus

9781914198311

Tonight is the opening night. There are birds perched everywhere, on the power lines, the guy ropes, the strings of light that festoon the tent . . . when I think of all those little bodies suspended between earth and sky, it makes me smile to remind myself that for some of them, their first flight begins with a fall.

Nathalie arrives at the circus in Vladivostok, Russia, fresh out of art college in Geneva. She is there to design the costumes for a trio of artists who are due to perform one of the most dangerous acts of all: the Russian Bar.

As winter approaches, the season at Vladivostok winds down, the windy port city deserted as performers head home; all except the Russian bar trio and their manager. They are scheduled to perform at a festival in Ulan Ude, just before Christmas. 

What ensues is an intimate and beguiling account of four people learning to work with and trust one another. This is a book about the delicate balance that must be achieved when flirting with death in such spectacular fashion. Set against the backdrop of a cloudy ocean, Vladivostok Circus explores collaboration, creativity and belonging, all the while immersing the reader in Dusapin’s trademark dreamlike prose. 

‘Frames human understanding as a series of leaps and falls, as we swoop, somersault, twist and turn to make ourselves understood. Dusapin has perfected the art of these spare, inward-looking novellas.’ Financial Times

‘Rich, immersive, psychologically astute – it’s a star performance all round.’ Marie Claire

‘Dusapin’s beautiful prose, with imagery both metallic and mineral, insinuates its way towards a delicate empathy between the generations, as well as examining the confusion that comes with dual nationality, and the lifetime loss that is exile.’ Irish Times

‘Fragmentation, recurring imagery and a flair for evoking atmosphere so effective that lassitude seems to seep through the pages recalls Deborah Levy’s writing.’ Guardian

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Daunt Books

2024

Adult Fiction

Modern Fiction and Translated Fiction

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