The Emerald Circus

Jane Yolen

Where is Wendy? Leading a labor strike against the Lost Boys, of course. In this first full collection from Jane Yolen (Briar Rose, Sister Emily’s Lightship) in more than ten years, discover new and uncollected tales of beloved characters, literary legends, and much more.


The Emerald Circus

by Jane Yolen

ISBN: 978-1-61696-273-9

Published: November 2017

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and Digital Books


Where is Wendy? Leading a labor strike against the Lost Boys, of course.

A Scottish academic unearths ancient evil in a fishing village. Edgar Allan Poe’s young bride is beguiled by a most unusual bird. Dorothy, lifted from Kansas, returns as a gymnastic sophisticate. Emily Dickinson dwells in possibility and sails away in a starship made of light. Alice’s wicked nemesis has jaws and claws but really needs a sense of humor.

In Jane Yolen’s first full collection in more than ten years discover new and uncollected tales of beloved characters, literary legends, and much more. Enter the Emerald Circus and be astonished by the transformations within.

Praise for The Emerald Circus

“Jane Yolen’s The Emerald Circus is full of marvels.  She introduces familiar acts and actors into her rings and then tricks us into seeing them from complex, unexpected angles.  She turns toads into witches, Sir Lancelot into a 600-year-old monk, Dorothy into a tightrope walker, and Emily Dickinson into a spacefarer.  The stories themselves change between one reading and another, always revealing more, always at a different slant than before, in language that is rich, unholy, and, like the tales themselves, beautifully unpredictable.  From Snow Queen to spaceship, The Emerald Circus is a delight.”
—Patricia A. McKillip, author of the Riddle-Master trilogy and Wonders of the Invisible World

“5/5 stars – Not only is [Yolen’s] writing style engaging and captivating, but the stories themselves are magical and fantastic to read . . . I loved every moment of this book and I couldn’t find anything wrong with it.”
The Joycean Booknerdery

An excellent collection of fairy tale ‘retellings’ written by Nebula Award-winning author Jane Yolen . . . a collection I would recommend to everyone.”
Infinite Text

“Jane Yolen is a consummate storyteller, weaving old and new threads to create tales rich in wisdom and depth. The Emerald Circus is an utter delight.”
—Juliet Marillier, award-winning author of Sevenwaters series

“Talk about imaginary gardens with real toads in them! In this wide-ranging short story collection, Jane Yolen’s scholarship and creative genius combine to bestow upon the reader fantastic new intimacy with venerable tales and persons.”
—Nancy Springer, author of The White Hart and I Am Mordred

“Jane Yolen facets her glittering stories with the craft of a master jeweller. Everything she writes, including The Emerald Circus, is original and timeless, deliciously creepy and disturbingly lovely.”
—Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity

 “In this masterful collection, Jane Yolen draws upon myth, fairy tales, history, poetry, and children’s classics from Alice to Oz to fashion new tales from the bones of the old. There is simply no better storyteller working in the fantasy field today. She’s a national treasure.”
—Terri Windling, author of The Wood Wife and The Essential Bordertown

“What a joy it is to watch Jane Yolen burrow into the hearts of familiar stories and dwell in possibilities we’d never imagined. It’s all done with Yolen’s trademark wisdom, a healthy dollop of subversion, and a twinkle in the eye. A delight!”
—Susan Fletcher, author of Dragon’s Milk and Shadow Spinner

“Jane Yolen’s collection The Emerald Circus is pure delight for anyone who craves inspired retellings of classics from literature, or re-imaginings of the lives of real literary figures. 5/5 stars”
YA Books Central

About the Author

Jane Yolen has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century. She is the author of over three hundred and fifty books, including children’s fiction, poetry, short stories, graphic novels, nonfiction, fantasy, and science fiction. Her publications include Owl Moon, The Devil’s Arithmetic, Briar Rose, Sister Emily’s Starship and Sister Light, Sister Dark. Among her many honors are the Caldecott and Christopher Medals, multiple Nebula World Fantasy, Mythopoeic, Golden Kite, and Jewish Book awards; the World Fantasy Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Science Fiction Poetry Grand Master Award. Yolen is also a teacher of writing and a book reviewer. She lives in Western Massachusetts and St. Andrew, Scotland.

Praise for Jane Yolen

“The Hans Christian Andersen of America”

“The Aesop of the twentieth century”
The New York Times

“Jane Yolen is a gem in the diadem of science fiction and fantasy.”

Praise for The Devil’s Arithmetic

“The book’s simplicity is its strength; no comment is needed because the facts speak for themselves. This brave and powerful book has much it can teach a young audience.”
Publishers Weekly

“A triumphantly moving book.”

[STARRED REVIEW] “[Yolen] adds much to understanding the effects of the Holocaust, which will reverberate throughout history, today and tomorrow.”
School Library Journal

Praise for Sister Emily’s Lightship

“This is [Yolen’s] first collection of genre stories for adults and it has been worth the wait.”
Publishers Weekly

“An outstanding collection.”
Voice of Youth Advocates

Praise for Briar Rose

“Terrifically moving.”
The Washington Post

“Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, Yolen’s novel is a compelling reminder of the Holocaust as well as a contemporary tale of secrets and romance.”

Praise for Stone Angel

[STARRED REVIEW] This story provides a wonderful addition to materials about World War II and the Holocaust, and is appropriate for even the gentlest of readers.”
School Library Connection

Visit the Jane Yolen website.

Table of Contents

Andersen’s Witch
Lost Girls (Nebula Award Winner)
Tough Alice
Blown Away
A Knot of Toads
The Quiet Monk
The Bird  (Original story)
Belle Bloody Merciless Dame
Jewel in the Toad Queen’s Crown
A Gift of Magicians
Rabbit Hole
Our Lady of the Greenwood
The Confession of Brother Blaise
Wonder Land
Evian Steel
Sister Emily’s Lightship (Nebula Award Winner)