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The novel begins in Czechoslovakia in the early 1930s when Zoli, a young Roma girl, is six years old. The fascist Hlinka guards had driven most of her people out onto the frozen lake and forced them to stay there until the spring, when the ice cracked and everyone drowned - Zoli's parents, brothers and sisters. Now she and her grandfather head off in search of a 'company'. Zoli teaches herself to read and write and becomes a singer, a privileged position in a gypsy company as they are viewed as the guardians of gypsy tradition. But Zoli is different because she secretly writes down some of her songs. With the rise of the Nazis, the suppression of the gypsies intensifies. The war ends when Zoli is 16 and with the spread of socialism, the Roma are suddenly regarded as 'comrades' again. Zoli meets Stephen Swann, a man she will have a passionate affair with, but who will also betray her. He persuades Zoli to publish some of her work. But when the government try to use Zoli to help them in their plan to 'settle' gypsies, her community turns against her. They condemn her to 'Pollution for Life', which means she is exiled forever. She begins a journey that will eventually lead her to Italy and a new life. Zoli is based very loosely on the true story of the Gypsy poet, Papsuza, who was sentenced to a Life of Pollution by her fellow Roma when a Polish intellectual published her poems. But Colum has turned this into so much more - it's a brilliantly written work that brings the culture and the time to life, an incredibly rich story about betrayal and redemption, and storytelling in all its guises.

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Used availability for Colum McCann's Zoli

Hardback Editions

June 2007 : USA Hardback
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Title: Zoli
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 0-7862-9577-5 / 978-0-7862-9577-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 2007 : USA Hardback
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Title: Zoli: A Novel
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 1-4000-6372-8 / 978-1-4000-6372-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


January 2007 : UK Hardback

Title: Zoli
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 1-4056-1818-3 / 978-1-4056-1818-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Availability: Amazon CA   


January 2007 : UK Hardback

Title: Zoli
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 1-4056-1819-1 / 978-1-4056-1819-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Availability: Amazon CA   


August 2006 : UK Hardback
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Title: Zoli
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 0-297-84759-7 / 978-0-297-84759-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

2000 : USA Paperback
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Title: Zoli: A Novel
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 0-8129-7398-4 / 978-0-8129-7398-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2007 : UK Paperback
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Title: Zoli
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 0-7538-2163-X / 978-0-7538-2163-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2007 : UK Paperback
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Title: Zoli
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 0-7538-2164-8 / 978-0-7538-2164-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Phoenix
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 2006 : UK Paperback
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Title: Zoli
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 0-297-85224-8 / 978-0-297-85224-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

September 2007 : UK Audio Cassette

Title: Zoli
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 1-84648-253-4 / 978-1-84648-253-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Limited
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


September 2007 : UK Audio CD
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Title: Zoli
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 1-84648-271-2 / 978-1-84648-271-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Limited
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

December 2008 : USA Kindle edition
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Title: Zoli: A Novel
Author(s): Colum McCann
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon