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Acclaimed The Circus in Winter by Cathy Day '91 Now in Paperback

June 23, 2005

cathy day circus paperback.jpgJune 23, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - The Circus in Winter by Cathy Day, a 1991 graduate of DePauw University, is now available in paperback. The book, which appeared on at least two "Best of 2004" lists and received praise in numerous media outlets -- including the New York Times, Newsday, MSNBC.com and Sports Illustrated -- was one of three finalists for the Story Prize.

Day is a native of of Peru, Indiana. New Jersey's Princeton Packet notes, that Day "a tenured professor of literature and writing at The College of New Jersey, started the story cycle in 1991 while an undergraduate at DePauw University in Indiana. Whenever fellow students and professors at DePauw asked Ms. Day where she was from, she would tell them circus stories. 'My favorite thing was to tell how my great-great uncle was killed by an elephant,' she says... When it came time to select the topic for her senior thesis, one of Ms. Day's professors [DePauw English professor Tom Chiarella] suggested she write about 'that weird circus town you're from.' So for her senior year, she returned to Peru, winter home of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus -- as well as Cole Porter's hometown; the Great Porter Circus was partly named for him -- to write an essay. There, the writing major discovered the actual newspaper clipping about her great-great uncle's death, along with pictures."

Day recalls, "Tom said, 'You're from that weird circus town, right? Why don't you write about that?' ... I don't know if I would have written The Circus in Winter without the encouragement of DePauw faculty members. They taught me to see my hometown with a writer's eyes... Back in 1991, I remember saying to Tom, 'I have no idea why this interests me so much,' and he said, 'You don't now, but someday you will.' As always, he was right."

Read more about the paperback release of Cathy Day's novel at the publisher's Web site.

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