Gypsy Boy

Gypsy Boy

My Life in the Secret World of the Romany Gypsies

Book - 2012
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Baker & Taylor
Mikey was born into a Romany Gypsy family. They lived in a closeted community, and little is known of 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 all too well. Growing up, he didn't go to school, he seldom mixed with non-Gypsies and the caravan became his world. Eventually Mikey was forced to make an agonizing decision, to stay and keep secrets, or escape to find somewhere to belong. His father and grandfather were champion bareknuckle boxers in England's Gypsy community. But Mikey had no interest in fighting. He was proud of his heritage and loved his mother and sister, but as he grew older he came to realize he had a secret that would never be accepted: he was gay. This memoir reveals, for the first time, what life is really like among the Romany Gypsies. It is a culture apart, one that is equally more criminal and more puritanical than our own.

McMillan Palgrave

An Eye-Opening Memoir of Growing Up Gypsy

Mikey Walsh was born into a Romany Gypsy family. They live in a secluded 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 didn't go to school, he seldom mixed with non-Gypsies, and the caravan became his world. It was a rich and unusual upbringing, but although Mikey inherited a vibrant and loyal culture his family's legacy was bittersweet, with a hidden history of violence and grief. Eventually Mikey was forced to make an agonizing decision--to stay and keep secrets, or escape and find somewhere to belong.

Gypsy Boy shows, for the first time, what life is really like among the Romany Gypsies. A surprise #1 bestseller in Great Britain, this is a one-of-a-kind memoir of a little-seen world, one both fascinating and heartbreaking.



Baker
& Taylor

The son and grandson of Romany Gypsy champion bareknuckle boxers shares the story of his realization of his sexual orientation and reluctance to follow in family footsteps, describing his upbringing in England and how his circumstances were shaped by his culture's absolute beliefs.
The son of a Romany Gypsy champion bareknuckle boxer shares the story of his upbringing in England, his realization of his sexual orientation, and how his circumstances were shaped by his culture's absolute beliefs.

Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2012
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780312622084
0312622082
Branch Call Number: Biography W168w
Characteristics: 278 p. ; 22 cm

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bandblair Mar 25, 2013

A very interesting story.

m
mikebauer
Mar 13, 2013

The chapters are punched out, organized around incidents -- as though a good editor has worked some random writings into 'interesting'. There's some gay stuff and some stuff about Romanies, but the author's complete resistance to saying anything actually perceptive about his own reality turns love, say, into a boxing match between lurid and harlequin romance, with harlequin getting the weak and upper hand... bravely holding a rainbow flag in surrender... surrender to the co-lateral liberation forces of Edmund White, who've maybe told the author he had a life beyond being an author...

Linear and boring typing about what the author thinks is going on, or what the author thinks we want to read about it. Some interesting characters are discussed. Might make a good stage play, the characters are simple enough and one dimensional enough to have fun pretending to be them. You'd have to make a plot in this beyond 'I just got to get out if this place,' but maybe you could throw in a Picasso-type love interest... "I love you more than life, Pablo, but got to leave you, or I'd have to kill you because you're not gypsy." Now, that was a story.

d
DBWaterlow
Jun 10, 2012

This autobiographical novel provides a gripping and often shocking no-holds-barred insight into 21st century British gypsy life. At times it can be quite ironic and humourous.

That this highly traumatic autobiographical story was ever written, given the level of violent child abuse the author suffered at the hands of his father, is something of a miracle.

Highly recommended for those interested in contemporary Britain and contemporary British gypsy life.

It's also a wonderful model for young people struggling to transcend childhood rejection by, and repeated brutal abuse from their families, and for children struggling to escape from their family's cyclical history of very unhealthy co-dependant parental relationships.

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