Skip to main content

The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts

About the Book

The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts

When her 64-year-old mother, Teresa, suffered “as big and bad a stroke as you can have and still be alive,” Tessa Fontaine entered a nightmare of wrenching uncertainty. Three years later, severely disabled but still possessing a spark of her former vitality, Teresa and her husband set out on an ambitious journey. Their itinerary called for them to cross the country by train, and then to cross the ocean by ship, culminating in a long-dreamed-of, long-postponed romantic sojourn in Italy. Worried about the travel calamities that surely awaited her mom, Tessa was nonetheless suddenly released from caretaking. So she decided to set out on her own extraordinary journey --- a path that led her to the last traveling American sideshow.

After bluffing her way into the World of Wonders, Tessa soon learned the art of eating fire, escaping from handcuffs, charming snakes, and swallowing swords. In THE ELECTRIC WOMAN, she brings to life the intense camaraderie and exhilarating triumphs she experienced in the carnival world despite a grueling, hardscrabble life on the road. Her relationship with her free-spirited mom had always been strained, but spending a season with people who embrace the impossible brought Tessa’s appreciation and love for her family clearly into focus. 

A true story of vanquishing fear while championing change, THE ELECTRIC WOMAN will transform the way you see life itself.

The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts
by Tessa Fontaine

  • Publication Date: May 7, 2019
  • Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • ISBN-10: 0374538409
  • ISBN-13: 9780374538408