Fonseca lived and traveled with the Gypsies of Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic, The title “Bury me standing” comes from a proverb which describes the plight of the Gypsies: “Bury Fonseca, Isabel “Bury Me Standing” Random House. 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. Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey. Isabel Fonseca, Author Alfred A. Knopf $25 (p) ISBN

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Their culture remains largely obscure, but in Isabel Fonseca they have found bjry eloquent witness. It discusses where the Roma may have come from. Just in recent times has the American Holocaust association made progress in this area by giving the gypsies their memorial in this tragic history.

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Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey – Wikipedia

Through engaging and well-written prose, she assembles a complex, nuanced and ambivalent image of the Roma people. It was almost startling to read about all this racism and endemic poverty in Europe, a co I’m really into subcultures and history and this was a really fascinating glimpse into a culture I knew practically nothing about: Any book that gets me more interested in a subject, about which I knew little initially, deserves my praise. In those iswbel where they try to follow the rules, governments still cheat and “lose” applications and forms, or design legislation expressly to exclude the Roma.

It helped that Foneca knew absolutely nothing about the subject matter, so there was some added interest there. The Gypsies perhaps uniquely among peoples have no dream of a homeland; historically illiterate, they also have no book in which their collective memories are stored, and indeed no real sense of their own history beyond the memories of grandparents and great-grandparents.


Bufy chapters that cover the gypsies of Romania and Bulgaria are particularly intriguing and quite horrifying. But this is not the best part of her book. Combined with a very catchy title, it was pretty hard to resist. I have a suspicion that you didn’t read this book or you would realize that the author is trying to disprove stereotypes.

It really was an eye opener! They are largely illiterate and have an budy aversion to “the establishment. Aug 18, Sara rated it really liked it Shelves: Feb 17, Sharlene rated it liked it Shelves: Well, “modern” being the early to mid-nineties.

Upon moving to Europe, I discovered very early — immediately, in fact — that Gypsies are indeed real and almost universally loathed. Although the group doesn’t genrerally keep tabs on their own history, there does seem to be a collective memory of wrongs done that is shown through suspicion stanxing strangers etc.

Bury Me Standing

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. In my answer to the comment, I elaborated further. Oct 29, Pages. Before I read this book, my conception of the Holocaust was limited to its impact on Jews–I hadn’t really thought about Gypsies, homosexuals or the mentally challenged.

Bury Me Standing by Isabel Fonseca | : Books

From their hazy and contested origins most scholars point to Indiathrough centuries of slavery, forced settlement, punitive legislation aimed at their way of life, and the resulting cycles of poverty and imprisonment, Fonseca traces the cultural outlook of a people who value the story for story’s sake; who willfully spread misinformation about themselves as a means of protection; who are born capitalists, living in the moment, not saving but trusting in their ability to eke out a living tomorrow; who value family and cohesion above all; who, even when settled, live in a mental space more attuned with the nomadic ways of life of their ancestors.

It reminds us that adversity, too, is part of living. And so we see that the term Rom, as in Romany, has nothing whatever to do with Romania, where, confusingly, the Gypsies have lived in great numbers for many centuries. Here she presents what she saw and learned and also gives a brief history of the Roma.


Now, having seen so many positive reviews of the book here, I felt that I ought to re-post my exchange with the commenter here, so more people may see a fuller explanation of my sentiments: For a few moments, I thought it was going to get into the Bosnia-Herzegovina genocide as well.

The time of the wandering Gypsies Has long passed. To historians, ethnographers and linguists, the cultural unity of the Roma throughout Europe is clear, but most Roma do not know or particularly care about this. Since their arrival in Europe some years ago, the Roma have been in turn exploited, marginalized, ignored and persecuted. My previous experience led me to see non-fiction as dry and dusty and entirely lacking in the elements I found most compelling in fiction.

Tinsmiths, and coppersmiths, locksmiths, blacksmiths…as well isabsl the esteemed musicians among them, were valued and even fought over. As someone who had worked on Roma issues and has interacted with many Romani people from all socio-economic classes, I can also tell you that this is a book that makes pretty much everyone I know groan.

Please try again later. Kinostudio was a family—practically the whole neighborhood was related….

Organised violence, regularly resulting in murder and displacement by the people who live near the Gypsies regularly and systematically goes uninvestigated and unpunished there is a lot about this in the book, and many examples.