Gypsies get a pretty bad rap: There are gypsy moths, gypsy cabs and those horrible clods who do belly-dancing at Burning Man. To dispel these short-sighted notions, author Oksana Marafioti discusses her book American Gypsy: A Memoir (FSG Originals). A globe-trotting Romani girl, she toured with her family's troupe until age 15, at which point the family settled in America and the culture shock was, to say the least, intense. From the wilds of Siberia and Mongolia to the horrors of navigating processed cheese, her education was colorful and dire — sometimes all at once. It's an immigrant story that generally isn't told, even if the displaced in question are steeped in a culture that is as well known as it is mystifying. How many Gypsy people have you actually met (Brad Pitt's acting in Snatch doesn't count)? American Gypsy is that rare unveiling of the immigrant experience told by someone whose very existence is defined by immigration. Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Tues., Aug. 7, 7 p.m.; (626) 449-5320,

Tue., Aug. 7, 7 p.m., 2012

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