The Amazing Mimi is a book project based on Bob Blackmar’s Mimi Garneau archive.
Mimi Garneau is better known today as a pioneer sword swallower, but her long career in circuses, sideshows and traveling carnivals included all aspects of show business. She was a compulsive archivist of her own history and of those around her, effectively documenting a subculture that has largely been lost to mainstream records.
In her 50-year career, spanning roughly from the late 1920s to the mid 1970s, Mimi was ahead of her time, not only as a businesswoman, but also in terms of the community she chose to surround herself with. This included folks from all walks of life, regardless of gender, race, class and sexual orientation, as well as many of the famous “freaks” of her time.
In this project, co-authors Cris Siqueira and Faythe Levine team up with outdoor entertainment historian Bob Blackmar to bring to light never-before-seen photos, diaries and ephemera from Mimi Garneau’s personal collection. The book will contextualize her amazing journey as a show person, woman and outsider for contemporary audiences.