Zoli

Zoli

3.64 (2,748 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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Description

The novel begins in Czechoslovakia in the early 1930s when Zoli, a young Roma girl, is six years old. The fascist Hlinka guards had driven most of her people out onto the frozen lake and forced them to stay there until the spring, when the ice cracked and everyone drowned - Zoli's parents, brothers and sisters. Now she and her grandfather head off in search of a 'company'. Zoli teaches herself to read and write and becomes a singer, a privileged position in a gypsy company as they are viewed as the guardians of gypsy tradition. But Zoli is different because she secretly writes down some of her songs. With the rise of the Nazis, the suppression of the gypsies intensifies. The war ends when Zoli is 16 and with the spread of socialism, the Roma are suddenly regarded as 'comrades' again. Zoli meets Stephen Swann, a man she will have a passionate affair with, but who will also betray her. He persuades Zoli to publish some of her work. But when the government try to use Zoli to help them in their plan to 'settle' gypsies, her community turns against her. They condemn her to 'Pollution for Life', which means she is exiled forever. She begins a journey that will eventually lead her to Italy and a new life. Zoli is based very loosely on the true story of the Gypsy poet, Papsuza, who was sentenced to a Life of Pollution by her fellow Roma when a Polish intellectual published her poems.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 112 x 178 x 20mm | 194g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0753821648
  • 9780753821640

About Colum McCann

Colum McCann was born in Dublin in 1965. He has won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and been nominated for both the Irish Times Fiction Prize and the Impac Prize. He was recently presented with the Princess Grace Memorial Award. He has travelled widely and is currently based in New York with his wife and children.show more

Rating details

2,748 ratings
3.64 out of 5 stars
5 19% (522)
4 39% (1,074)
3 32% (871)
2 8% (229)
1 2% (52)
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