Michael Downs is the author of The Greatest Show and House of Good Hope, winner of the 2007 River Teeth Prize for Literary Nonfiction

The Greatest Show: Stories
March 2012
LSU Press
Yellow Shoe Fiction


"A stellar, magical achievement.”
» Sabina Murray, author of The Caprices, winner of the 2002 Pen/Faulkner Award

"A tour de force... so much more than the sum of its parts.”
» Tom Franklin, author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter


Inspired by the true story of the 1944 Hartford Circus Fire, the interconnected stories in The Greatest Show explore the aftermath of disaster in a world of clowns, elephants, and childhood fantasies.

A portrait of an American city and its people over five decades, these stories raise questions about wounds and healing, memory and forgetting, and about the human capacity for kindness—with all its futility and power—in the midst of great loss.

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Michael Downs 2012 © All Rights Reserved. Author Photo Credit: Leslie F. Miller Photography
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