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"Ania," a short fiction originally published in The Georgia Review and recognized as a "distinguished story" in The Best American Short Stories series, also is the opening story in my book, THE GREATEST SHOW, published by Louisiana State University Press. It tells the story of a young Polish immigrant and housekeeper who steals circus tickets from an employer. But this is Hartford, Connecticut in 1944, and the day Ania takes her toddler son to the circus places the two in a historic moment. The Hartford Circus Fire of 1944 is one of the most famous mass murders in American history, when 168 people died and thousands more were burned inside a flaming Ringling Brothers Big Top tent. "Ania" and THE GREATEST SHOW tell the story of what happened inside that tent--and after.
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