Gypsy Fugue

An Archetypal Memoir

By Marlene A. Schiwy

Categories: Memoir, Travel & Outdoors
Imprint: Caitlin Press
Paperback : 9781987915594, 240 pages, February 2018


A life story sure to inspire a new movement of self-discovery and soul-searching for years to come. A story that captures a life richly lived, celebrating fantasy, passion and the ideals that lie within our soul. 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.

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.


"If the gypsy archetype fascinates you, Marlene Schiwy's Gypsy Fugue will take you on a journey that will resonate in your bones forever. This is a beautiful and soulful book."

--Marion Woodman

"For Marlene Schiwy, the gifted author of this autobiographical work, soul became spontaneously manifest and visible in the image of the gypsy. In this mesmerizing collection of reflections, memories and dreams, she reveals her personal living myth. 'Gypsy is my soul' is her declaration as she unfolds the story of her self-discovery as a personality. From earliest years to what are now the later stages of her life, she has lovingly and loyally minded this symbolic figure and made it her own. This is a wondrous story of emergence, a song of the soul in the voice of a strong contemporary feminine personality."

--Murray Stein, author of Minding the Self and Jung's Map of the Soul

“Guided by the spirit of the Gypsy, Marlene Schiwy has travelled down to plumb the depth of her own psyche, and to bring back the gold of a truly archetypal memoir. In Gypsy Fugue, she offers a personally vulnerable and self-questioning story filled with scholarly explorations, synchronicities, Jungian insights and the wisdom gleaned through years of rich contemplation and symbolic dream. I bow to her tenacity, her fierce spirit and her generous heart.”

— Ann Mortifee, Member of the Order of Canada, Canadian singer, composer, and author of In Love with the Mystery