Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journeyby Isabel Fonseca
Fabled, feared, romanticized, and reviled, the Gypsies—or Roma—are among the least understood people on earth. Their culture remains largely obscure, but in Isabel Fonseca they have
A masterful work of personal reportage, this volume is also a vibrant portrait of a mysterious people and an essential document of a disappearing culture.
Fabled, feared, romanticized, and reviled, the Gypsies—or Roma—are among the least understood people on earth. Their culture remains largely obscure, but in Isabel Fonseca they have found an eloquent witness.
In Bury Me Standing, alongside unforgettable portraits of individuals—the poet, the politician, the child prostitute—Fonseca offers sharp insights into the humor, language, wisdom, and taboos of the Roma. She traces their exodus out of India 1,000 years ago and their astonishing history of persecution: enslaved by the princes of medieval Romania; massacred by the Nazis; forcibly assimilated by the communist regimes; evicted from their settlements in Eastern Europe, and most recently, in Western Europe as well. Whether as handy scapegoats or figments of the romantic imagination, the Gypsies have always been with us—but never before have they been brought so vividly to life.
Includes fifty black and white photos.
Meet the Author
Isabel Fonseca grew up on New York City. She went to Barnard College and Oxford University before settling in London, where she worked as an editor at the Times Literary Supplement. She has written for the Times, The Guardian, The Economist, Harper's Bazaar, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and The American Scholar, among other publications. Since its appearance in 1995, the national bestseller Bury Me Standing has been published in twenty-two countries. Fonseca is also the author of a novel, Attachment. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, Martin Amis.
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The author extensively traveled throughout European countries (particularly Eastern bloc countries and Germany) and lived with Gypsy families. Generally each chapter tends to focus on a particular gypsy tribe and within this context she shares history, local culture, and gypsy personalities. In many respects the author is an investigative reporter trying to interview government officials and police to determine how crimes against contemporaray gypsies (burning of houses, lynchings, harrassment) go unprosecuted. She incorporates government policies (as far back as the 15th century) that have marginalized gypsies and created a "non-species". On the other hand, she gives an honest appraisal of the gypsies -- knivers, beggars, illiterate, etc. I found this book to be very informative and engrossing.
There is a definite lack of focus in this book, to the point that it reminds me of reading the experiences of junkees. Open the book and start reading the chapter called, 'The Devouring', and you may sense what I mean. Earlier in the book we are told that, 'The Devouring' is the Gypsy's term for the Nazi Holocaust. Instead, the chapter starts as a very brief mention of Holocaust memorials, then goes into great length about a funeral, then . . . man, I don't know where it goes. Try reading 300 pages of that, which you may do by checking this book out of the library. I really wouldn't bother to buy it.
Interesting historical account of the online race without a county: the gypsy race.
If you really want to learn about Gypsy life and about their culture this is the book. I have read it from cover to cover 3 times. I have more time to read when I go home to Hungary. I gave my book a way 2 years ago while in Hungary. So I really missed reading it this past May-July while there. I hope to find a discount coupon or that this book goes on sale on soon. Alizka