Romani Fortune Tellers: Background information when reading The Immortalists

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The Immortalists

A Novel

by Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin X
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2018, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 5, 2019, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Dean Muscat
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About this Book

Romani Fortune Tellers

This article relates to The Immortalists

Chloe Benjamin's The Immortalists begins with four children visiting a fortune teller in New York in the '60s. The fortune teller is nameless. Her whereabouts is only gleaned from hearsay and neighborhood gossip. What's more, the psychic is said to regularly change address to avoid being detected by the authorities. Despite being shrouded in mystique, she still manages to attract a regular clientele of New Yorkers who swear by the precise insight she has to offer through her clairvoyance.

Later in the book, it transpires the fortune teller is Romani and comes from a tight-knit family of immigrants who, despite having lived in America for years, have managed to not allow a great influx of outside influence to mar their cultural identity. They communicate in their mother tongue. They don't regularly consort with other New York communities, happy to keep to themselves. Furthermore, the entire family appears to make a living using their primary talents of divination and fortune-telling....

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