UNCERTAIN ROADS: Searching for the Gypsies by Yale Strom

UNCERTAIN ROADS: Searching for the Gypsies

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author of A Tree Still Stands: Jewish Youth in Eastern Europe Today (1990) considers the Rom (gypsies) in similar format: their past, present status, and the lingering scars of the Holocaust (hundreds of thousands lost their lives to the Nazis); abundant candid photos, both b&w and in color; and extensive quotes from Rom of all ages in four countries: Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Sweden. Meanwhile, in sidebars of smaller type, Strom describes his encounters with Rom who generously took him in, confided their aspirations and troubles, and shared meals and music (Strom, who's also a musician, travels with a violin). A suspect, outcast people for all of their hundreds of years in Europe, the Rom are (at the moment) most numerous in Romania, best treated in Sweden. The very strategies helping them survive persecution have often fed prejudices against them. Skillfully, Strom presents the rich diversity of their culture in their own thoughtful words (apparently he's multilingual, as are many of them; it would have been interesting to know in what languages his interviews were conducted); his portraits -- in words and telling photos -- are especially notable for the immediacy with which they portray the gypsies' individuality, warmth, and courage. Maps; six songs, with music; bibliography; index.

Pub Date: Dec. 31st, 1993
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Four Winds