The Circus Pig and the Kaiser: A Novel Based on a Strange But True Event

By: Carolyn Kay Brancato

Durov is an honorable but pig-headed pig trainer in a down-on-its-luck, Russian traveling circus in 1907. He yearns to win the love of Natasha, the high-born circus owner, recently widowed after her brutish husband took drunken dive off a cliff.  When they travel to Germany, Durov hatches a scheme to dazzle Natasha by dressing his prized pig to mimic Kaiser Wilhelm II in his ridiculously elaborate military dress.  But an absurdly loyal German dragoon threatens to destroy the circus if Durov performs.  Caught between his love for Natasha and his desire to exercise his freedom of expression, Durov’s decision threatens to cause an international scandal and the loss of everything he holds dear. Will Durov give in and not perform?  Or will he insist on wooing Natasha while exercising his freedom of expression to perform his pig act?

The Circus Pig and the Kaiser is a rollicking, satirical novel about the lengths to which people will go to express love for each other and the love of their artistic freedom.

The Berkshire Eagle called The Circus Pig and the Kaiser: “a fast-paced drama of wit and humor amid politically charged circumstances…This circus is an unlikely tour de force that heroically upsets the status quo. In this case, it is set in 1907 in a German border town where reverence for the hawkish and dictatorial Kaiser Wilhelm II is high. This is a wonderfully entertaining, but seriously messaged historical fiction about a band of circus characters defending the ideals of freedom of expression…The story that Brancato creates is an authentic, charming and heart-felt portrayal of a band of circus performers who are more like family with all a family’s problems, passions, joys and of course love, which is also portrayed in all its complexities.”



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