by Colum McCann

REVIEWED BY PORTER SHREVE

NOVEL

After fascists in pre-World War II Slovakia drown most of her Gypsy family, Zoli, 6, escapes with her grandfather. He sparks her love of language, and she grows up writing about her people (who regard reading and writing as taboo). But when the Communists champion her work as part of their effort to relocate the Gypsy (or Roma) people, her community rejects her. With a poet’s language, McCann creates a haunting story about the pain of exile.

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