There is no Frigate like a Book,
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul.
~ Emily Dickinson
Hi! I’m Jayshree. Originally from India, I now live in southern New Hampshire in the US. I have a PhD in French Literature with a specialization in medieval studies from Tulane University. Besides being fluent in English and French, I know many Indian languages including Hindi and Tamil. I have also studied German, Sanskrit and Latin. As I have a background in medieval French literature, I’m proficient in Old French. I also know the Occitan language or ‘the language of the troubadours’ ( also generally referred to as Provençal) currently listed by UNESCO as a severely endangered language. I have a passion for learning languages and I particularly enjoy literary translation.
This blog Literary Gitane was born out of a deep and genuine love of literature. ‘Gitane’ is the French word for a gypsy woman. I’ve always been intrigued by gypsies and the mystique that surrounds them. I also have a penchant for wearing long flowing skirts and big hoop earrings which is the reason why my daughter who is learning French in college affectionately exclaimed one day, “Maman, tu es une gitane.”. The name stuck. I thought the blog name was apt for a gypsy soul who loves traveling the world through literature. You will find everything here from book reviews, translations and essays to trivia and literary recipes. Fellow vagabonds and kindred spirits, I hope you will join me on this fascinating literary journey.