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Gypsy Folktales
     

Gypsy Folktales

by Diane Tong
 

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Stretching back many centuries to its origins in India, the Gypsy oral tradition has accumulated a vast, diverse treasury of folktales. The eighty tales in this volume are gathered from thirty-one different countries. Each tale has a headnote elucidating the tale’s background. Index; photographs.

Overview


Stretching back many centuries to its origins in India, the Gypsy oral tradition has accumulated a vast, diverse treasury of folktales. The eighty tales in this volume are gathered from thirty-one different countries. Each tale has a headnote elucidating the tale’s background. Index; photographs.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In gathering Gypsy tales from around the world, freelance writer Tong asserts that the preservation of Gypsy culture, heretofore dependent on its oral tradition, is imperiled by both the assimilation and persecution of Gypsies, and by competition to storytelling from more modern vehicles for entertainment (such as the TV and VCR). Thus these narratives, many of which, according to Tong, are recorded here for the first time, bolster Gypsy tradition even as they acquaint the reader with an exotic and misunderstood people. Particularly interesting are Gypsy treatments of universal myths; in a Transylvanian version of the parable of the Flood, the rains are brought on when a peasant woman grills a fish that her husband had been instructed, by an old man, to leave untouched for a week. Another legend has Gypsies bringing water to the crucified Jesus, who blesses them: `` `You will eat, but you will not work.' '' One disappointment is the random organization: stories are ordered ``as they might be told during an evening at someone's home'' rather than by theme or region. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Including stories collected from New York to India and older published tales as well as recently collected oral ones, Tong has given us a marvelous anthology that is more than an anthology. It is no small task to produce a collection of folktales that is true to the tale tellers but also accessible to general readers and acceptable to scholars. Tong has accomplished these three goals, at the same time giving a vivid sense of the variety of the gypsy oral art. She also provides useful background information on the Gypsies and introduces each tale with cogent commentary that allows the reader to appreciate them all the more. As she notes in her introduction, the life of Gypsies is often grim; the tales we read here surely show human creativity in even the grimmest circumstances.-- David S. Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libs., Philadelphia

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780156379892
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/19/1989
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
745,186
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.65(d)
Age Range:
3 Years

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