about The Hatbox Baby
The year is 1933, and on a sweltering summer morning, a baby is delivered in a hatbox to the Century of Progress Exposition - The World's Fair - in Chicago. The very, very tiny baby, born three months early, is brought by his desperate young father to the fair's famous incubator doctor, who exhibits live premature infants to the fair's gawking crowds. This doctor, the father hopes, will save his son. Before the summer ends and the fair closes, a remarkable cast of characters will come to have an investment in the fragile baby's life - Dr. Lep Hoffman, the doctor who cares for him; Caroline Day, the fair's beautiful fan dancer; and St. Louis Percy, the fan dancer's cousin, friend, and protector, whose stake in the baby's future becomes the most serious of them all.
In the strange world of the fair, a place of freaks and marvels, mysteries, miracles - and even murders - the notion of what is "normal" is suddenly in question. Inspired by the real life and work of an early neonatologist, Carrie Brown once again celebrates love's transforming power with a richly imagined, deeply affecting story.