The Hatbox Baby Author:Carrie Brown "At the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, a man races through the crowd, carrying a hatbox. Inside it is his son -- a premature baby whose only hope for survival may be Dr. Leo Hoffman, whose 'Infantorium' holds tiny, frail patients in primitive incubators, drawing crowds of gawkers along with the elephants and the firewalkers and the fan dancer in the... more » next tent. Thus begins award-winning author Carrie Brown's fascinating, lyrically written tale, an epic story about misfits and makeshift families, fragile lives and unpredictable loves -- and the busy, dizzying carnival that houses them all."
This novel has been compared to Doctorow's "Ragtime" as it uses historical events within a fictional framework. Two parts of my mind were working on this at the same time as I read...one as a reader, totally drawn in, another as a writer, amazed at her skill. The author's notes at the end make it clear that preemies were exhibited in this callous way, so she didn't make that part up!« less