History Center Book Group: “The Electric Woman: A Memoir of Death Defying Acts” by Tessa Fontaine


November, 2018





10:00 AM – 11:30 AM EST



Tampa Bay History Center

801 Old Water

Tampa, FL 33602

“The Electric Woman: A Memoir of Death Defying Acts” by Tessa Fontaine; Reviewed by Penny Liu

From Sandstone Press:

‘Every day we put fire and swords and electricity into our bodies, throw knives at them, contort them, wrap them in snakes, and every day we wake up sure those things won’t harm us but also sure that there is so much else that will.’

When her mother had a series of strokes, Tessa Fontaine couldn’t stand to watch her mother disappear. The Electric Woman tells Tessa’s story of joining America’s last travelling freak show, and learning to perform death-defying acts in order to come to terms with her mother’s illness. In her life-affirming memoir, Tessa finds hope and companionship among sword swallowers and snake charmers.

Tessa’s work has appeared in journals such as PANK and Seneca Review. Tessa holds an MFA from the University of Alabama and is currently a PhD student in creative writing at the University of Utah, where she is working on a novel.