Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey

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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...
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Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An exploration of the frequently persecuted and misunderstood Gypsy population of eastern Europe. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Traveling as a journalist, Fonseca stayed with a number of Gypsy families in Eastern Europe between 1991 and 1995. Through her experiences with them, study of the scholarship about them, and interviews with leading figures, she has produced a contemporary account of their status, incorporating details of their society, culture, and history. Her work portrays their commitment to tribal traditions and adherence to ritual and offers good insights, particularly into women's lives. The author regards Gypsies as "an ancient scapegoat" who survive through their traditions and a collective denial of their mistreatment by outsiders, including the Germans during World War II. The author details the discrimination that has kept the Gypsies, now often called Roma, from development of an identity and acceptance by the international community. Fonseca's work will appeal to both interested lay readers and scholars in the field. It belongs in subject collections.-Rena Fowler, Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, Cal.
Booknews
A remarkable, candid and unromanticized account of the Gypsies--or Roma--by Fonseca, who lived and traveled with the Gypsies of Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the former Yugoslavia, Romania, and Albania. Includes b&w photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679406785
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/17/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 322
  • Product dimensions: 6.61 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2007

    Ragged and unfocused

    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.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Author provides "a front row seat" to gypsy life and history.

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Heavy. Academic reading

    Interesting historical account of the online race without a county: the gypsy race.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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