Book Review: Welcome to the Circus

Welcome to the Circus
By Rhonda Douglas

173 pages • ISBN 978-1-55481-228-8

Rhonda Douglas´s debut collection dazzles with its daring and dangerous prose. Welcome to the Circus, where every moment is a tightrope act, precariously balancing on the edge of destruction. In these stories, a choir processes its collective grief at the loss of one of its members to cancer; a teenage boy marks himself with the poetry of John Donne; God explains the collapse of the cod fishery; Mata Hari stands trail; and two sisters try to reconcile their respective places in the family porn emporium business before everything blows up. 

 “Rhonda Douglas´s Welcome to the Circus does what great short story collections do: just when you think you are safe, caught in the ebb and flow of strong narrative, the stories surprise you with a shift of the bare and the raw, each with those flashes of insight that are most akin to the spotlit reveal of nakedness. It has perhaps the best thing that you can say about any collection: they may be stories, but they read like truth.” – Russell Wangersky

Rhonda Douglas has a knack for marking the bizarre seem reasonable and deeply human. A resurrected Neandertal, a Job Creator of the Year pornographer, a John Donne obsessed cutter, God- these are just a few of the surprising characters in her circus. This funny, moving debut is a show you won´t want to miss.” – Caroline Adderson.

Rhonda Douglas is also the author of Some Days I Think I know things: The Cassandra Poems, a poetry collection published by Signature Editions in September 2008. Her writing has won awards from The Malahat Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, Prairie Fire, and Room Magazine. Her work has also been published in The Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review, Exile: The Literary Quarterly, and The New Quarterly. In 2012, Rhonda received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Originally from Grand Bank, Newfoundland, Rhonda now lives in Ottawa, Ontario.