As author Barry Gifford was writing these pieces, he gradually came to realize that what he was creating was a geographical fiction, or a geography of fictions. As Barry explains, “Everybody has a story, no matter where they are in the world, and I conceived the device of The Ropedancer when I was in Veracruz, Mexico, at a hotel much like the Hotel Los Regalos de Dios, where the former funambulist, whom I call The Ropedancer, took up residence following the demise of the Dancing Ciegas, who plunged to their deaths from a high wire.” Many of these stories are tragic, some humorous, but all told by individuals in the confessional mode which is often the posture assumed by persons adrift in a foreign land and who find themselves not uncomfortably in conversation late at night with a stranger.
Barry gives an overview of the book:
Barry Gifford’s novels have been translated into twenty-eight languages. His book Night People was awarded the Premio Brancati in Italy, and he has been the recipient of awards from PEN, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Library Association, the...