Gypsy Folk

Diane Tong, Author, Tong, Author Mariner Books $20.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-15-637989-2
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.)
Reviewed on: 04/23/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Hardcover - 252 pages - 978-0-15-138310-8
Hardcover - 252 pages - 978-1-56731-105-1
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