Australian Gypsies: Their Secret History
Today, roughly 100,000 Gypsies call Australia home, yet until now their experiences have been hidden from our history, and from our present. Here, award-winning memoirist and novelist Mandy Sayer weaves together a wide-ranging and exuberant history of Gypsies in Australia. She begins with the roots of Romani culture, and traces the first Gypsy people to arrive in Australia, including James Squire, the colony's first brewer. She meets Gypsy families who live all over Australia, who share the stories of their ancestors and their own lives. With her own nomadic early life and experiences as a street performer, Sayer brings unique insight into the lives of the people she meets, and a strong sense of their extraordinary history. She also demolishes some longstanding but baseless myths along the way. Her original and compelling book reveals a rich part of our history that few of us even know is there.
Mandy Sayer's non-fiction has attracted many honours, including the 2000 National Biography Award, the 1998 New England Booksellers' Award in the US, the 2006 South Australian Premier's Award, and the 2006 Age Book of the Year. She has two degrees from Indiana University, and a PhD in Research and Writing from the University of Technology, Sydney, where she was the holder of the CAL Non-Fiction Writer-in-Residence in 2014.