Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    New Favorites | November 25, 2014

    Powell's Staff: IMG Our Favorite New Favorites of 2014



    Every week, we gather together a small pile of newly released titles that we agree should be on everyone's radar. We deem these titles our New... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$7.95
List price: $16.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Hawthorne Anthropology- General

American Gypsy: A Memoir

by

American Gypsy: A Memoir Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A vivid and funny memoir about growing up Gypsy and becoming American

Fifteen-year-old Oksana Marafioti is a Gypsy. This means touring with the family band from the Mongolian deserts to the Siberian tundra. It means getting your hair cut in “the Lioness.” It also means enduring sneering racism from every segment of Soviet society. Her father is determined that his girls lead a better, freer life. In America! Also, he wants to play guitar with B. B. King. And cure cancer with his personal magnetism. All of this he confides to the woman at the American embassy, who inexplicably allows the family entry. Soon they are living on the sketchier side of Hollywood.

What little Oksana and her sister, Roxy, know of the United States theyve learned from MTV, subcategory George Michael. It doesnt quite prepare them for the challenges of immigration. Why are the glamorous Kraft Singles individually wrapped? Are the little soaps in the motels really free? How do you protect your nice new boyfriend from your opinionated father, who wants you to marry decently, within the clan?

In this affecting, hilarious memoir, Marafioti cracks open the secretive world of the Roma and brings the absurdities, miscommunications, and unpredictable victories of the immigrant experience to life. With unsentimentally perfect pitch, American Gypsy reveals how Marafioti adjusted to her new life in America, one slice of processed cheese at a time.

Review:

"At 15, Marafioti, granddaughter and daughter of Roma performers, arrives in Hollywood from Russia, encountering culture clash and the rapid disintegration of her family, both rendered with touching, funny, and outlandish details. In the U.S.S.R., she'd been part of the upper class and traveled with the act, but was subjected to intense prejudice as a mistrusted 'gyp.' In her new homeland, her father marries his mistress, while Marafioti, her sister, and mother furnish their own apartment scavenging Beverly Hills castoffs and she learns that Gypsies are Stevie Nicksesque bohemians plus history and hatred. It's a source of liberation for her, and for her father and stepmother, who rely on the old ways and become sought-after palm readers. As the best English speaker among them, Marafioti is routinely conscripted into serving as a translator for the readings, even getting dragged to the cemetery to steal dirt for a curse. Her struggles between the two worlds play out daily as she deals with her father's chauvinism and his push for her to join the business and marry one of their own while she's trying to learn English, figure out how to have a Brazilian boyfriend, and get through the immigrant teenage experience. Although her journey would be more satisfying if it went beyond high school, Marafioti has a rich, colorful story about a long misunderstood culture that she treasures, despite some truly antiquated beliefs. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Oksana Marafioti moved from the Soviet Union when she was fifteen years old. Trained as a classical pianist, she has also worked as a cinematographer.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374104078
Author:
Marafioti, Oksana
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts
Subject:
cultural heritage
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
19 Black-and-White Illustrations
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
7.5 x 5 in

Related Subjects


Biography » Entertainment and Performing Arts
Biography » General
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Europe
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General

American Gypsy: A Memoir Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374104078 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "At 15, Marafioti, granddaughter and daughter of Roma performers, arrives in Hollywood from Russia, encountering culture clash and the rapid disintegration of her family, both rendered with touching, funny, and outlandish details. In the U.S.S.R., she'd been part of the upper class and traveled with the act, but was subjected to intense prejudice as a mistrusted 'gyp.' In her new homeland, her father marries his mistress, while Marafioti, her sister, and mother furnish their own apartment scavenging Beverly Hills castoffs and she learns that Gypsies are Stevie Nicksesque bohemians plus history and hatred. It's a source of liberation for her, and for her father and stepmother, who rely on the old ways and become sought-after palm readers. As the best English speaker among them, Marafioti is routinely conscripted into serving as a translator for the readings, even getting dragged to the cemetery to steal dirt for a curse. Her struggles between the two worlds play out daily as she deals with her father's chauvinism and his push for her to join the business and marry one of their own while she's trying to learn English, figure out how to have a Brazilian boyfriend, and get through the immigrant teenage experience. Although her journey would be more satisfying if it went beyond high school, Marafioti has a rich, colorful story about a long misunderstood culture that she treasures, despite some truly antiquated beliefs. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.