American Gypsy Woman
Oksana Marafioti’s parents performed in a traveling Romani ensemble until she was
15, when they moved to America. Growing up, she saw the Mongolian deserts and
the Siberian tundra, watched her father get into bar fights with Nazis, learned about
sex by sneaking into illicit movies, and endured the hostility of school bullies. What
little Oksana and her sister, Roxy, knew of the United States they had learned from
MTV, subcategory George Michael. Not quite prepared for the challenges of
immigration. Marafioti cracks open the secretive world of the Roma and brings the
absurdities, miscommunications, and unpredictable victories of the immigrant
experience to life, one slice of processed cheese at a time.
Oksana spoke at Vroman’s Bookstore August 7, 2012 on her family life as a gypsy woman.
Video of the talk: