Children of the Rainbow tackles a subject rarely mentioned, the plight of Central and East European Gypsies in the shadow of the Holocaust.
Through an absorbing combination of fact, fiction and mythology, Farhi tells the story of Branko, a Roma Gypsy baby born in the Auschwitz concentration camp, who receives the prophecy that he will be his people’s saviour. Named Branko, after an inmate who has been compiling the Gypsy Bible, he is smuggled out of the compound and entrusted to a Red Cross official.
Some thirty years later, on the death of his adoptive father, Branko sets out to remould his identity: he witnesses first-hand the relentless persecution of the Roma and comes to hear of the Gypsy Bible that his namesake had miraculously reclaimed from the collective memory of the Roma in Auschwitz. Hidden and awaiting discovery, the powerful book prophesies Branco’s leadership, under which the gypsies will be reunited and led to Romanestan, their mysterious homeland.
About the Author
Born in Turkey in 1935, Moris Farhi is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Vice-President of International Pen. He was appointed an MBE in 2001 for ‘services to literature’. His novels include Children of the Rainbow, Journey through the Wilderness (both Saqi Books), Young Turk and A Designated Man (both Telegram). He lives in Brighton.
'In his huge prose-poem of Gypsy suffering and hope, history, fiction and brilliant political fantasy are combined in the search for a book and a homeland; for the fabled Gypsy Bible and for a Romanestan. Moris Farhi has given the Roma - and all who want to understand them - a dreambook for their times.'
'This is an absorbing read and a stimulating fantasy of what might happen in a utopian dream, built out of the smoke of the Romany Holocaust ... An impressive book.'
'Farhi is fuelled by a powerful imaginative gift. His book succeeds on a poetic level, in offering a moving restoration of humanity and dignity to an outcast people.'
Jane Jakeman, New Statesman
'Moris Farhi has written a strange, imaginative, worthy novel about the plight of the Gypies.'
Sarah Lawson, New Humanist