Add to basket Add to wishlist Description After the revolutions of , 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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The time of the wandering Gypsies Has long passed. But I see them, They are bright Strong and clear like water. You can hear it When it wishes to speak. Fonseca is always a clear-eyed observer, unsentimental yet sympathetic.

She rarely intrudes as a narrator, but when she does it is with self-deprecating humor, and in a way that imparts a sense of immediacy. But among the Roma one felt as they did: utterly safe, as in a family…. Kinostudio was a family—practically the whole neighborhood was related…. The Dukas [family] did not share gadjo notions of or need for privacy. Or for quiet. The more and the noisier the better was their creed—one that I found universal among Roma.

Chapters telling the stories of Gypsy persecutions and the laws that even today make traditional life and livelihoods nearly impossible to pursue are sometimes horrifying and always full of surprising insights.

In Bolintin [a Gypsy section burned to the ground in a single night], as in most other villages, the purge may be seen as the inevitable consequence of communist policy. These were fake communities. Like all attempts to assimilate the Gypsies by force, resettlement had backfired.


Isabel Fonseca

In Stock Overview 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, 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.


Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey


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