Thursday, June 2, 2016
‘Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet’
For the tourists who flock to Coney Island, circa 1907, Magruder’s is a “dime museum” in a less-fashionable area of the park. Dominant cultural attitudes about race, sexual orientation, gender presentation and “typical” physicality mean that sideshow performers are subjects of curiosity for ticket-paying tourists, but they are also marginalized and excluded from broader society. In the museum basement, Magruder’s provides a gathering place for the performers free from tourists’ stares.
Their society is threatened on two fronts as animals and people quickly succumb to a rapidly spreading disease. And a senator’s aide, anxious to gain favor with his employer, is determined to tear Magruder’s down because it stands in the way of development.
I found much to relate to and enjoy reading Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet. To begin with, the story is fast-paced and exciting, with fully-developed characters. But I could also relate to not fitting in among “normal” people, and of finding and wanting to protect the family you build with other outcasts.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. The opinion expressed is my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Subject Classifications (Partial list, via Dewey Decimal System)
- 006.754-Social Media
- 020-Library and Information Science
- 020.92-Cynthia M. Parkhill (Biographical)
- 023.3-Library Workers
- 025.04-Internet Access
- 027.473-Public Libraries
- 027.663-Libraries and people with disabilities
- 027.8-School Libraries
- 028.52-Children's Literature
- 028.535-Young Adult Literature
- 028.7-Information Literacy
- 158.2-Social Intelligence
- 323.30-People with disabilities--Civil rights
- 658.812-Customer Service
- 659.2-Public Relations
- 686.22-Graphic Design
- 809-Literature--Critical Appraisal