Books by Michael Larson

THE FISH BRIDE by Jean Russell Larson
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

In the author's 1930s Iowa childhood, Gypsies came every summer to her town. She taunted and teased the Gypsy girls, but soon repented her actions and became entranced by Gypsy storytelling. One can see in this bewitching collection of tales and proverbs an effort at expiation. The stories themselves come from her own memories and from Welsh Gypsy tales of the same period: in her introduction she notes the Gypsies' name for themselves is Rom, and explains a bit of their often-difficult history. All of this sets the stage for these tales, each quite short and in language richly suited to reading aloud. Some motifs are familiar: there are Rom versions of Jack tales, and the title story is a particularly haunting one, reminiscent both of "Sleeping Beauty" and a Malaysian epic. Others are unusual—Piccolo the Gypsy boy to whom God says, "Go and dance, because that is what I made you for," or Lichka, who opens her winter cottage to an old woman who eats all her food three times in a row, but rewards her satisfyingly in the end. Together they offer a rare chance for young readers to enjoy this lively art. Illustrations not seen. (bibliography) (Folktales. 10-14)Read full book review >