Olympia Knife

Alysia Con­stan­tine In­ter­lude Press (NOVEM­BER) Soft­cover $16.99 (204pp) 978-1-945053-27-6

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Fiction - CLAIRE FOSTER

This mes­mer­iz­ing novel is a must.

Amer­i­cans don’t have fairy tales: we have le­gends. Tall tales. Olympia Knife is a fab­u­lous, lus­cious story that in­vokes a mag­i­cal, yes­ter­year world. Filled with larger-than-life char­ac­ters, this mes­mer­iz­ing novel is a must.

Olympia, the daugh­ter of two cir­cus per­form­ers, soon dis­cov­ers her own pow­ers. She’s one part sideshow and one part per­for­mance roy­alty. Her par­ents, the fa­mous Fly­ing Knifes, are at ease on the trapeze. Olympia, on the other hand, strug­gles to find her foot­ing on the high wire.

She both loves and dis­likes the lime­light: it’s apt that she was born with the abil­ity to van­ish. She can phys­i­cally va­por­ize, and be­come trans­par­ent. Out of cos­tume, she en­joys a dif­fer­ent kind of in­vis­i­bil­ity, deemed as “plain”: “She drew ab­so­lutely no at­ten­tion of any kind.”

Olympia’s cir­cus com­pan­ions, like Arnold (The World’s Small­est Ma­jor Gen­eral Tiny Napoleon Only Three Feet Tall) and Min­nie (The Fat Lady) have in­ter­est­ing sto­ries of their own. Their world is vi­brant, dan­ger­ous, and a smart com­men­tary on so­cial prej­u­dices against out­siders. Queer, dif­fer­ently-abled, fat, and non­white char­ac­ters pack the pages.

Set in the post­bel­lum South, Olympia Knife is, at its core, a story about a cul­ture that is no longer able to ig­nore its own di­ver­sity or the itch for change. As Olympia grows, ex­plor­ing her pow­ers and her place in the dual worlds she in­hab­its, she wit­nesses both hu­man po­ten­tial and lim­i­ta­tion, and their shock­ing con­se­quences.

Author Alysia Con­stan­tine is a su­perb writer whose dis­tinc­tive, rich style makes Olympia

Knife a plea­sure from be­gin­ning to end.

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