Thursday, 22 April 2010

A taste of novel No Gypsies Served

Foreword by the Author

No Gypsies Served is a sequel and prequel to Gypsies Stop tHere but both books can standalone. Like Gypsies Stop tHere, it is fiction, a story to entertain. So, someone asked me, “It’s not the truth then?” This was a difficult one to answer.

The story, the characters, even the places are made up. Dunstan is not related to anyone with the surname Smith and Appley Green is not on any map! But certainly I have listened to real life anecdotes, read factual books and consulted web sites, all of which helped form the backdrop of the novel. Issues relating to social injustices, ethnic identity, opinions, laws of the land, alleged crime – the list is long – do exist, however. Some aspects are more factual than others: for example, the snippets you will read from O NEVO DROM are real.
(Romani on-line magazine

There again, reality can be dreary; a daily diary, recording raw, mundane detail, may neither highlight a meaningful message nor make compelling reading! Some scenes or events in the story have been inspired by what I have heard people say. Some have sprung from my imagination and I have striven to create these in the spirit of what I believe to be authentic.

For sure you cannot please all of the people all of the time, but I have tried to be fair and to listen to all sides. In Gypsies Stop tHere a divide lies between Gypsies and non-Gypsies. No Gypsies Served touches on a three-way stalemate between Romany or English Gypsies, Irish Travellers and non-Gypsies; although this is not meant to imply that harmony cannot or does not exist between these groups. No Gypsies Served also shows how history can throw light on current events.

I have heard Gypsies describe themselves as ‘proud’, ‘secretive’ and ‘misunderstood’ and must confess that the first two traits do stand in the way of attempting to rectify the third. I can understand, however, that because of past and present inhumanity towards them, many are mistrustful. I thank all those who have helped me.

No Gypsies Served is peppered with reminders of possible consequences of a Gypsy or Traveller leaving their community to join mainstream society. It is so easy for non-Gypsies to say that Gypsies and Travellers should all live in houses and fit in with everyone else.

Of course, there are many other happenings in both these books. The relationship between Kay and Dunstan is perhaps the vital theme and I know the various interconnecting storylines in an English village captivate a wide readership. I hope that includes you. Happy reading!

© Miriam Wakerly March 2010

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