You are here

Our New Reviews

Viewing 1 - 1 of 1
gypsy fugue

Gypsy Fugue

An Archetypal Memoir
$24.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Caitlin Press
Publication Date: January, 2018
ISBN: 9781987915594
In stock now: 4

Who is to say that the outer stories of our lives are more important than the images that haunt our imagination? What if memoir could capture the vital pulse of our inner lives and track the mysterious affinities and longings we so often feel? From earliest childhood Marlene Schiwy was enthralled by colourful gypsies that filled her imagination and fantasy. As a young woman she created skirts with laces, embroideries, and beadwork that expressed the darkly shimmering mystery of those gypsies and wondered why they kept appearing in her dreams.

The gypsy’s life has appeared in the pages of my journal, my own “book of secrets,” for decades… In Gypsy Fugue, I have hoped to bring all of my own voices together… Perhaps we are weeping, the Gypsy woman and I, because we know that the book of secrets contains the story of her inner life, her deep song…


And the book of secrets contains a knowledge lost to modern culture. Ancient knowledge of blood and instinct, of something only darkly divined but so essential in our cerebral, disembodied times. Locked inside the wooden box, it reminds me of Psyche’s quest to bring back the treasure box containing the beauty of the knowledge of life and death from the underworld…


Even now I am humming the melody of the dream. The gypsy landscape stretches out before me, calls me toward an ever-receding horizon.

Gypsy Fugue invites readers on a journey they will never forget. The author travels to Rajasthan, the original home of the Roma. In France, she joins thousands of Gypsies in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer during the annual Roma gathering to honour their patron Saint Sara. She embarks on her own Camino pilgrimage in Spain, birthplace of flamenco and deep song, then faces her mother's shocking, wrongful death just days after her return.

The music of Bach, the psychology of Jung, folktales, poetry, and alchemy keep her company as she meanders through a gypsy territory rich in colour, music, and dance. Running through the book is the scarlet thread of Marlene's gypsy dreams. This book celebrates fantasy, yearning, and the strange unbidden passions that lie inside our souls. As we explore this gypsy landscape, what opens before us is a whole new way of imagining our lives.