Deborah Kalb, "Off to Join the Circus" (Apprentice House, 2023)


In Deborah Kalb’s debut adult novel Off to Join the Circus (Apprentice House Press 2023) it’s 2018, Howard Pinsky’s sister Adele, who ran away in 1954, as his parents said, “to join the circus,” is suddenly, 64 years later, in Bethesda wanting to be a part of the family. Howard, now 75 and a retired lawyer married to Marilyn, a retired teacher, spent years researching circuses and trying to find his sister. Now, during a two-week period when their eldest daughter is about to give birth at 46, their middle daughter’s younger son is about to become a Bar Mitzvah, and their youngest daughter is recovering from a terrible divorce, Adele forces everyone to consider the ties that bind them all as a family. There are secrets to be unearthed, resentments to be faced, concerns about the three sisters’ relationships, misunderstandings to be sorted, and worries that pull even 80-year-old Aunt Adele back into the Pinsky family circus.

Deborah Kalb is a freelance writer and editor. She spent about two decades working as a journalist in Washington, D.C., for news organizations including Gannett News Service, Congressional Quarterly, U.S. News & World Report, and The Hill, mostly covering Congress and politics. Her book blog, Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb, which she started in 2012, features hundreds of interviews she has conducted with a wide variety of authors. She is the author of three novels for kids, Thomas Jefferson and the Return of the Magic Hat (Schiffer, 2020), John Adams and the Magic Bobblehead (Schiffer, 2018), and George Washington and the Magic Hat (Schiffer, 2016) — and she’s the co-author, with her father, Marvin Kalb, of Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama (Brookings, 2011). She is the author/updater of Elections A to Z, 5th edition (CQ Press/SAGE, 2022), the editor of the two-volume reference book, Guide to U.S. Elections, 7th edition (CQ Press/SAGE, 2016), the co-author of The Presidents, First Ladies, and Vice Presidents (CQ Press, 2009), and the co-editor of State of the Union: Presidential Rhetoric from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush (CQ Press, 2007), and has contributed updates to a variety of other CQ Press books on politics and government.

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