For his new novel, Swan Gondola, Timothy Schaffert takes us back in time to the 1898 World’s Fair in Omaha, Nebraska. It’s an unconventional setting for what is being touted as a lush and romantic love story, albeit one between a ventriloquist and a girl who gets guillotined once an hour playing Marie Antoinette. Their budding romance is full of bawdy burlesque shows, circus acts and séances. Schaffert paints a very real world for his travelling performers as they traverse the Midwest and New York City at the turn of the century. Hear him discuss his new work with local writer Jami Attenberg (The Middlesteins) at WORD Bookstore on April 8.