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Gypsy Boy: One Boy's Struggle to Escape from a Secret World

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Gypsy Boy

One Boy's Struggle to Escape from a Secret World

By Mikey Walsh

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Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 04 February 2010
Mikey was born into a Romany Gypsy family. They live in a closeted community, and little is known about their way of life. After centuries of persecution Gypsies are wary of outsiders and if you choose to leave you can never come back.This is something Mikey knows only too well.Growing up, he rarely went to school, and seldom mixed with non-Gypsies. The caravan and camp were his world. But although Mikey inherited a vibrant and loyal culture his family's legacy was bittersweet with a hidden history of grief and abuse.Eventually Mikey was forced to make an agonising decision - to stay and keep secrets, or escape and find somewhere he could truly belong. Read the second part of Mikey's amazing story in Gypsy Boy on the Run

About the Author

Five years ago Mikey Walsh finally succumbed to staying put. London called him and it is the longest time he has ever lived in one place. He works at a nearby primary school, where he teaches art and drama, and also picks up the formal education he missed out on as a child. Mikey proposed to his partner on the number 38 bus two years ago and they married last summer.

Promotional Information

Gypsy Boy is the first commercial memoir written by someone on the inside of the notoriously secretive culture of the Romany Gypsies.


It was a revelation. Moving, terrifying, funny and brilliant. I shall never forget it - an amazing achievement Stephen Fry Touching, insightful, funny and incredibly shocking **** HEAT Explosive, sparkling and hugely entertaining - this is a twisted fairytale from a truly original mind Hayley Atwell, star of The Duchess and Brideshead Revisited Gypsy Boy is a brilliant but bittersweet story, which reads like a magical fairytale. Although he could be excused for doing so, Mikey never descends into self pity - and has found the perfect balance between humour and harsh reality. Gypsy Boy sits somewhere between the grittiness of Irvine Welsh, and the charming warmth of Frank McCourt. Dermot O'Leary best memoir since Running with Scissors Attitude Mikey Walsh's memoirs were an unexpected smash hit last year and the audiobook version is every bit as enjoyable. HEAT 'Brash and frightening and funny -- tonally, think of Frank McCourt meeting Axl Rose.' The New York Times 'In this violent yet often comic memoir, Walsh writes of life as an English Gypsy... Gypsy Boy feels, in all its cocky, awkward affection and anguish, like the real deal.' The Boston Globe 'A poignant memoir that bears comparison to the bestselling Running With Scissors--but better written and far darker.' Kirkus Reviews 'The earthy, violent, funny memoir of a gypsy boy in England. It's absolutely riveting, un-put-downable.' Anne Lamott, The Miami Herald 'He's an irresistible guide through this secret world, and the tour is strongly recommended.' The New York Times Book Review Gypsy Boy tells the poignant story of a boy living in an unusual and secretive environment of shoplifting, boxing, and virtual illiteracy, a boy who desperately wants to please his abusive father but all the while grapples with his own clandestine issues. This extraordinary memoir about resilience and the human spirit is a rare glimpse into a world few of us can imagine The Advocate 'Absolutely can't be missed. If you're up for a funny, brutal, sharp memoir, this is the book you want.' The Washington Blade 'A sobering and compelling portrait of Gypsy life that is written by an insider.' The Naitonal 'Harrowing ... exposes disturbing connections between culture and abuse.' The Washington Post 'An inside look at the Gypsy world through the eyes of a Gypsy... Read this book, and you'll never look at, or think of, a Gypsy in the same way.' The Washington Times This stunning childhood memoir takes readers into the insular culture of Romany Gypsies. ... It is astounding that Walsh survived such brutality, without emotional support or formal education, to pen this unflinching but oddly generous memoir, demonstrating a respectful attitude toward Romany culture and affection toward his family Library Journal 'This is a wonderfully readable tale of love, abuse, and eventual escape--all lived in the heart of an English Gypsy family. The father is one of the most frightening figures I've encountered in years.' Edmund White, author of A Boy's Own Story 'Reading Gypsy Boy, I felt invited into a secret society. I've always found Gypsies mysterious and even slightly dangerous, and Mikey Walsh does an excellent job describing the cloistered lifestyle and fascinating traditions of the Romany people. Moreover, Mikey's personal story of being a misfit among misfits is both compelling and universal. I cheered for him every step of the way.' Julia Scheeres, author of Jesus Land 'Mikey Walsh provides an unsentimental and compelling look at the louche and brutal culture of Romany Gypsies in the U.K. ... Walsh analyzes the grotesqueries of Gypsy life in painful detail--garish trailers, stifling family ties, crime and crudeness, and the constricted options for women who are considered old maids at 21. Yet despite his gruesome experiences, he also praises the fierce loyalty and cultural continuity that have allowed Gypsies to maintain their dignity in the face of hatred for centuries.' Publishers Weekly

EAN: 9780340977989
ISBN: 0340977981
Publisher: Hodder Paperback
Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.1 x 2 centimetres (0.15 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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5 of 5 Stars! '

Brilliant, moving, emotional read, I couldn't put it down...


5 of 5 Stars! '

Amazing! - l have just finished reading this fabulous novel "Gypsy Boy"by Mikey Walsh. Loved it from start to finish. It really takes you through every emotion possible. I just felt l was right there with Mikey every step of the way. A very enjoyable and powerful read. Have just bought more for gifts for my family and friends ............... just wonderful. Hope Mikey Walsh writes more novels, if this is anything to go by ... l'll be buying them


5 of 5 Stars! '

Loved it! Loved it! loved it! This is a beautifully written novel that takes you on an emotional journey from start to finished. Couldn't put it down, it made me laugh & cry, it made me happy & sad...just as a really good book should... what a fantastic read. It takes you into a world of the Gypsy culture something we don't really hear much about. What a strong and proud race they are. So glad Mikey Walsh has decided to share this incredible story with us all.

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