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Little Money Street: In Search of Gypsies and Their Music in the South of France (Vintage Departures)by Fernanda Eberstadt
Synopses & Reviews
From the author of four novels comes this remarkable book, both impassioned and humorous, about the Gypsies of southwestern France--their habits, their haunts, and their haunting music.
In 1998, Fernanda Eberstadt, her husband, and their two small children moved from New York to an area outside Perpignan, a city set on a series of bluffs overlooking the river Tet, with one of the largest Gypsy populations in Western Europe. Always fascinated with Gypsy music, Eberstadt became obsessed with the local Gypsy rumba, and with a Perpignan band called Tekameli, perhaps the greatest Gypsy band between Barcelona and Budapest. After eighteen futile months of trying to make contact, she was at last invited into the home of Tekameli's lead singer, Moise Espinas, and into the closed world of the Gypsies.
Here she found a jealously guarded culture--a society made, in part, of lawlessness and defiance of non-Gypsy norms--that nonetheless made room for her, a privileged American in a Mediterranean underworld. As her relationship with the Espinas family changed over the years from mutual bafflement to a deep-rooted friendship, Eberstadt found herself a part of Gypsy life, moving about in a large group whose core included Moise, his wife, her sister, and their children--at cockfights, in storefront churches, at malls, in their homes, and at their rehearsals, discovering lives lived between biblical laws and strip-mall consumerism--and always accompanied by the intense and infectious beat of their heart-stopping music.
Little Money Street is a spellbinding story of the Gypsies and the little-known landscape in France they have called home for centuries, and of one woman'sextraordinary journey among them.
In 1998, Fernanda Eberstadt, her husband, and their two small children moved from New York to an area outside Perpignan, France — a city with one of the largest Gypsy populations in Western Europe. Here she found a jealously guarded culture, a society made, in part, of lawlessness and defiance of non-Gypsy norms; and she met MoÏse Espinas, the lead singer of the Gypsy band, Tekameli.
As her relationship with the Espinas family developed over the years, progressing from mutual bafflement to a deep-rooted friendship, Eberstadt found herself a part of the captivating Gypsy life-a life rich with tradition and culture, but slowly being consumed by the modern world.
About the Author
Fernanda Eberstadt is the author of four novels: The Furies, When the Sons of Heaven Meet the Daughters of the Earth, Low Tide, and Isaac and
His Devils. She graduated from Brearley in New York City and from Magdalen College, Oxford. She lives in France with her husband and two children.
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Arts and Entertainment » Music » Ethnomusicology