Buy Used
$4.29
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Like New | Details
Sold by mtmstorm
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: First Printing! This book appears to have never been read. Slight shelf wear is visible.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Bearded Lady Hardcover – May 1, 1999


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$0.49 $0.01
Paperback
"Please retry"

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Tweets and Jessie Foster are orphaned sisters in early 20th-century rural Georgia who, thrown out of the house by their loathsome aunt, are taken in by kindly circus folk in this atmospheric but somewhat forced first novel. Enchanted by the "freaks, misfits and managerial conjurers," the sisters are determined to survive by attaching themselves to the troupe. The teenage Jessie, however, has a secret that makes her of special interest to her new friendsAshe shaves twice a day in order to prevent the growth of a beard. The focus of the novel, Jessie's feelings of self-hatred about her facial hair, proves to be an unfortunate narrative trajectory. Even after she accepts her fate and becomes the Bearded Lady in the circus's freak show, Jessie seemingly never grows more secure about her identity, which is frustrating and unsatisfying for the reader. By centering on sourpuss Jessie, Dieguez neglects potentially more rewarding fictional opportunities: the freak characters remain in the background and are sketchily drawn; Jessie's love interest, Marion, "the famous horse lady," is brooding and boring; and the possible exploitation of the performers by the circus owner is barely hinted at. Most disappointingly, Tweets, the younger, wilder sister, is never fully explored as a character. The conventionally beautiful Tweets wants to be a boy, is jealous of her sister's beard and aspires to be a lion tamer. The novel comes alive whenever she narrates the action, only to fade once more when Jessie takes over, suggesting that despite this author's attempts at exploding the myths of conventional beauty, "freakish" and "fascinating" are not synonymous. Author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Guernica Editions; 1st edition (May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189251415X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892514158
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,629,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
12
4 star
0
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 13 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sunny A Killina on January 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"The Bearded Lady" is a strange and wondrous tale that quickly pulled me in and didn't let me go until the last, mesmerizing scene. It is the story of Jessie and Tweets, two sisters who find themselves orphaned and join a traveling circus to earn money and escape from their cruel aunt's "care". Jessie fastly becomes someone the reader grows attached to as we read about her secret desires and adventures within the traveling circus world where anything can happen ... and does! This book is a must-read for anyone seeking literature that is new and exciting, strange and wondrous! Highly recommended!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this novel to read a few pages before bedtime and read until the birds were chirping at 7 a.m. The story of Jessie and Tweets is a grabber. Both characters are well-defined, immediately likeable particularly the spunky Tweets as she grows from a frightened young girl to a tough and beautiful young woman. The author, Dieguez's, portrayal of the south in the early 1900's was quite accurate. The plot has enough twists and turn to make it compelling without confusing or manipulating the reader. Some of the twists were a tad predictable but still written in such a way that one didn't want to skip a word. Dieguez has a skill with the language. Her portrayal of delicate scenes, her descriptions of the circus "family," and the tragedies that befell the main characters or the circus left much to one's imagination. That alone is a skill in today's overly graphic sexual and violent scenes in the media. The author's knack for storytelling is a lost art. I look forward to seeing more of Ms. Dieguez's work. I'd love to know what happens to Tweets as she grows up. But then I have an imagination and I can do as Jessie and weave some stories in my own head. A wonderful coming-of-age novel.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I read this interesting book in two night's. I usely read to fall asleep, could not with this one. Great book with suprising twists that had me fooled. I am looking forward for this new author to come out with her next novel.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JET VINE VOICE on May 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I got hooked on circus novels after reading "Geek Love" (pick it up!). This is another marvelous contribution. Ms. Dieguez expertly recreates the south just after the turn of the 20th century. She also creates deep, tangible characters, especially in Jessie and Tweets, but in every one of the other characters as well.
This book is a marvelous exploration of love, desire, sisterhood, societal norms, and gender. Dieguez's narrative is a beautifully woven tapestry, and I lapped up every word. I only have a couple disappointments. First, the hardcover version was badly edited (there were a few misspelled words, and several paragraphs that were not indented). Second, a serious problem with Jessie is not wrapped up by the novel's end. This could be because Jessie is no longer worried about it, or it could be the case of a first-time author forgetting to tie up all the threads. With both of these problems, they were disappointing, but did not lessen my enjoyment of this marvelous book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I was reading this after a friend recommended it and, while I kept reading which says something I guess, I was thinking for a while that it wasn't really for me. But, I really started to care for Jessie and Tweets a lot more that I had expected, and some of the other characters too, like Marion, and really wanted to know what was going to happen to them and their difficult, freakish even, but toally believable life. I finished and now I want to know what happens to them after they've grown up. Give us more...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gary cole on March 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I want to tell all that this book by Ms. Dieguez is a show stopper. I actually read it 3 times in one. The characters are loveable and I feel as though I know them personally. Can't wait to read it again just before the sequel is on the shelves. The twists and turns in the plot really keep you from falling asleep, so if you suffer from insomnia and want to read yourself to sleep, go get a Stephen King tome instead. Come on, Sharlee, I hope that you're busy with your next exciting novel.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jenny LaCroix on December 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was our book club book for December and it was very hard to get into. I didn't love it and likely wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I would note this is not my type of book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again