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Fiction Sagas

The Biggest Modern Woman of the World

A Novel

by (author) Susan Swan

Key Porter Books
Initial publish date
Mar 2007
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2007
    List Price

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Born to a family of crofters in 1846, Anna Swan, the real-life Nova Scotian giantess seven-foot-six in her stocking feet and weighing 413lbs., renders her own autobiographical account.
Searching for a home that fits, Anna first goes from Nova Scotia to New York, where P.T. Barnum bills her at his museum of freaks as “The Biggest Modern Woman in the World.” Worn down by Barnum's museum fires, she goes from New York to Europe and then to a giant farmhouse in the American Midwest, where she hopes to live out the rest of her life like a Victorian lady.
Part truth, part legend, The Biggest Modern Woman of the World is a saucy romp through the traditional categories of gender, art, sexuality and nationality. A zany, moving, exhilarating story woven from the most remarkable reality.
Praise for The Biggest Modern Woman of the World:
“Swan displays remarkable empathy, as well as predictable sympathy, in bringing Anna to exuberant life.” “The Globe and Mail
“Anna Swan's story, despite its fantastic trappings, is an everywoman's tale.” “Maclean's
“Smart entertainment for anybody who wants to know what it's like up there.” “San Francisco Chronicle

About the author

SUSAN SWAN's fiction has been published in twenty countries and received numerous honours. Her first novel, The Biggest Modern Woman of the World (1983), was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for fiction and the Smith’s Best First Novel Award, and is currently being made into a film. Her other books include the short story collection Stupid Boys are Good to Relax With (1996), the novel Last of the Golden Girls (1989), and The Wives of Bath (1993). The film adaptation of The Wives of Bath, called Lost and Delirious, has been released in 32 countries and was featured as a Premiere Selection at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. Her most recent novel, What Casanova Told Me (2001), was published to rave reviews. Susan Swan lives in Toronto, Ontario, and is an associate professor of Humanities at York University.

Susan Swan's profile page

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