1989 first year edition (mfg. code 10-1); MJF Books publishers, New York; hardbound; wonderful glossy photos; very good condition with very minor ageing of pages; dust jacket very good.
Stretching back many ages to the Gypsies' origins in India, maintained throughout their dispersion over six continents and centuries of persecution, enslavement, and invisibility, the Gypsy oral tradition has accumulated a vast and diverse treasure of folktales. That tradition continues vigorously to the present day.
The 80 stories published in this volume, many for the first time in English, some for the first time in any language, are gathered from 31 countries, including India, France, England, the U.S., Greece, Sweden, Syria, Argentina, Russia, and Turkey. Here are tales in which young mothers become vampires and wolves become lawyers; where ostracism, poverty, hunger, and death are countered by resourcefulness, hospitality, and magic. Here are tales that offer imaginative explanations of why the Gypsies live all over the world, why they have no church and no alphabet, why they love music; tales that link the Gypsies' past to their recent successful efforts to organize against oppression.
As varied as the tales are the tellers - factory workers, musicians, novelists, shopkeepers, dancers, professors, lacemakers, political activists - who are identified in the headnotes to individual stories. In these notes and in their introduction, Diane Tong discusses, among much else, Gypsy values, beliefs, and customs as revealed in the tales. The vivid storytelling and Tong's perceptive annotation combine to show how the Gypsies see themselves and the world.