Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journeyby Isabel Fonseca
After the revolutions of 1989, Isabel Fonseca lived and traveled with the Gypsies of Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the former Yugoslavia, Romainia, and Albania - listening to their stories and recording their attempts to become something more than despised outsiders. In Bury Me Standing, alongside unforgettable portraits of individuals - the poet,… See more details below
After the revolutions of 1989, Isabel Fonseca lived and traveled with the Gypsies of Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the former Yugoslavia, Romainia, and Albania - listening to their stories and recording their attempts to become something more than despised outsiders. In Bury Me Standing, alongside unforgettable portraits of individuals - the poet, the politician, the child prostitute - are vivid insights into the wit, language, wisdom, and taboos of the Roma. In a compelling narrative account of this large and landless minority, Fonseca also traces their long-ago exodus out of India and their history of relentless persecution: enslaved by the princes of medieval Romania; massacred by the Nazis in what the Roma call "the Devouring"; forcibly assimilated by the communist regime; and, most recently, evicted from their settlements by nationalistic mobs in the new "democracies" of the East, and under violent attack in the Western countries to which many have fled.
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1st ed
- Product dimensions:
- 6.61(w) x 9.61(h) x 1.32(d)
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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