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No Place to Call Home: Inside the Real Lives of Gypsies and Travellers

No Place to Call Home: Inside the Real Lives of Gypsies and Travellers [Kindle Edition]

Katharine Quarmby
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"With a keen sense of compassion and unwavering frankness, Katharine Quarmby breaks through rigid stereotypes and leads us into the communities that have remained for so long without a voice of their own." —Oksana Marafioti, author of American Gypsy: A Memoir

"The eviction of gypsies from Dale Farm forms the focus of a fascinating look at the interplay across decades of anti-gypsy sentiment with issues of poverty, immigration, and countercultural groups as they influence local and national politics." —Booklist

"Fuelled by righteous fury [and] whole-hearted... As an exposure of the modern troubles of these unique tight-knit communities of Travellers, it sets you travelling on the right road." —Guardian

"An admirably measured and authoritative portrait of a diverse, isolated and often wilfully misunderstood minority… Wise, quietly incandescent [and] insightful." —Telegraph

"Powerful... An important book by an impressive journalist." —Observer

"Katharine Quarmby has gone where most journalists never dare to tread... Excellent." —Traveller Times

"The story of the most persistent and socially acceptable form of racism in the country... Deserves to be given due prominence." —Herald

"The great strength of this book lies in the access Quarmby had to those who stories she seeks to tell [and] most important is the human face the book gives to people often deprived of one... No Place to Call Home raises bigger issues about socially isolated and alienated groups everywhere." —New Statesman

"No Place to Call Home is without doubt a masterpiece. Quarmby put the jigsaw together, and left out the lies and propaganda.... Frank and powerful." —Jess Smith, Scottish Traveller and author of Jessie's Journey

"If you only know what My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding has told you, then what a strange view you must have of the Gypsy and Traveller community! Quarmby's book is the first serious account of who we really are, our history and endless struggles... An excellent book." —Candy Sheridan, Irish Traveller and Vice Chair of the Gypsy Council

Book Description

The shocking poignant story of eviction, expulsion, and the hard-scrabble fight for a home

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1417 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (1 Aug 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E3DX9ZI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #351,653 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Katharine Quarmby is a writer, journalist and film-maker specialising in social affairs, education, foreign affairs and politics, with an investigative and campaigning edge. Her most recent assignment is her book, No Place to Call Home, in which she has investigated the relationship between Britain's settled people and Roma, Romanies and Travellers, asking why it is often so troubled - and what can be done to heal the divide. No Place to Call Home is published by Oneworld in August this year, and Katharine's first Kindle Single on her search for her Iranian birth father, and the ins and outs of adoption across the racial divide, Blood and Water, is also published this year.

She has spent most of her working life as a journalist and has made many films for the BBC, as well as working as a correspondent for The Economist, contributing to British broadsheets, including the Guardian, Sunday Times and the Telegraph. She also freelances regularly for other papers, including a stint providing roving political analysis for The Economist, where she has worked as a Britain correspondent, during the 2010 general election.

In 2007 Katharine started to investigate a number of violent killings of disabled men and women across the UK. As news editor of the disability magazine, Disability Now, she was able to put together the first national dossier of such crimes that year, following it up with an investigative report on disability hate crimes, Getting Away with Murder, for the charity Scope and the UK's Disabled People's Council, in 2008.

Her first book for adults, Scapegoat: why we are failing disabled people (Portobello Press, 2011), won a prestigious international award, the Ability Media Literature award, in 2011. In 2012 Katharine was shortlisted for the Paul Foot award for campaigning journalism, by the Guardian and Private Eye magazine, for her five years of campaigning against disability hate. Katharine and her fellow volunteer co-ordinators of the Disability Hate Crime Network, were honoured with Radar's Human Rights People of the Year award, for their work on disability hate crime in 2010.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading 22 Aug 2013
I'm sure there have been other books on the history of travellers and gypsies in the UK, but I doubt if any of them have been quite as thoroughly researched and well-written as No Place To Call Home. It is both a fascinating history and an insider's account of one of the most significant pieces of social history of the 21st century, the Dale Farm evictions. The section of the book on the day of the evictions is an absolute tour-de-force of journalistic non-fiction, and - in my view - one of the best pieces of in-depth investigative reporting I've read. As a former colleague of Katharine's, I know how much time she has invested in getting to know the families she has written about over the last seven years. But as with all her work, and like any good journalist, she seeks the views of both sides, and listens to them, too. It's the kind of work that reminds journalists why they became journalists. I hope it's successful, if only because I am desperate for her to write another book. No Place To Call Home is a worthy follow-up to Scapegoat, her searing expose of disability hate crime. Just like her first book, another account of a fight for social justice, it is full of anger,frustration, empathy,and hope.
John Pring, editor, Disability News Service
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An honest insight into the lives of Gypsies and Travellers. This book at last gives a real account of the struggles faced by these communities as they strive to live in the modern world faced with ongoing prejudice intensified by the media. By building trust and strong relationships with travelling communities Katharine has been able to report from a fully informed viewpoint, giving a balanced narrative on the positive as well as the negative aspects of their traditions and everyday lives. This book is compassionate in approach and allows the reader to understand how vulnerable these communities are and how they are failed by the settled community. This book comes at a point when the media has created either a demonised view of the lifestyles of Gypsies and Travellers or a very superficial view based on the glamour of their wedding traditions, and feels like the first step in building bridges between the settled and Traveller communities. Although desperately sad at points the book left me feeling positive that in time these communities will find a stronger voice, understanding and acceptance in this country.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A thorough journalistic description of the Dale Farm eviction in the broader context of Gypsy/Traveller life i Britain at the time. This will be an enduring primary source.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars journeyjess 17 Sep 2013
By jewgal
Katharine Quarmby is not a Gypsy, she is a popular journalist and best selling author but most vividly; a mother. In this book she listens to mothers whose hearts were being torn from them through the treatment administered towards Dale Farm (Essex)residents and their children. Long after the barriers have been torn down and the black clad riot police and bailiffs have gone and the TV media etc vacated the fiery issue, she remains focused on the plight of these forgotten victims and the aftermath of their eviction. The issues for this author regarding Gypsy Travellers does not fade away into the mists of 'just another story' and yet another 'have to feed myself' journalistic approach,she sees what her fellow journalists refuse to see; human survival amidst almost impossible odds. The quest to find out where the earliest gypsy appeared in Britain through laws against their existence, slavery, abolishment and the narrow-minded tolerance of the present day has been meticulously sifted through old/modern books and documents. She travels hundreds of miles to hear personal stories, she does not do the 'propaganda' thing. She searches for her truths, refuses to back away, even when some issues are knife edged and too hot to handle. She takes her story 'beyond the norm' and returns over again to hear how much pain, anxiety and sorrow the Gypsy Travellers were suffering. Day after day she speaks to councillors, police, other gypsies, media, her note taking is unflawed as she hears it from all fronts. Yet still she cries through her pen of people who simply want to live together as they have always done, family units. They try to follow rules and send children to school, speak kindly of their neighbours and ask for nothing more than to be left in peace. This author goes beyond the pale in this explosive book; the title says it all. I think everyone should get their hands on this one!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gypsies and Travellers and the way we live now 7 Sep 2013
I have known and enjoyed Katherine's journalism for some time- she has written many thoughtful and constructive pieces on this often misunderstood community, frequently for influential publications like the 'Economist'.

The book totally lives up to her high standard of journalism and reportage - and the narrative on the Dale Farm eviction and the days around reads like a political thriller.

What strikes me is the way that Kathering avoids 'victimhood' - presenting Gypsies, Roma and Travellers as positive and dynamic people, with proud cultural and artistic outlets that are relevant today - including the Irish Traveller musician Tommy Macarthy , and the English Roma poet David Morley.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the most accessible books I've come across that has been written about Romanies and Travellers. It is well researched, informative and written with a big heart. It explodes many myths and stereotypes about Travellers and Katherine Quarmby has written this book having spent proper time getting to know the people she's writing about. She has clearly also tried to give voice to those people who stereotype and harass Travellers and who are responsible for making their lives a mixture of misery and tragedy. Those people often declined to co-operate with his book, further demonstrating their ignorance and perhaps fear. But a clear message that shines through is that Travellers are resilient and strong, have great family bonds and a remarkable sense of community which we in the settled community could do well to learn from. Whilst this is a tragic story of harassment, persecution and eviction I also found this book very uplifting. It should certainly be on the reading lists at educational establishments teaching subjects such as history and sociology.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars and felt I came away from reading it much better informed.
This was so thoroughly researched and well written. I was very much impressed, and felt I came away from reading it much better informed.
Published 25 days ago by Jenny Galuschka
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant book.
Absolutely brilliant book.. Essential for anyone with any interest in Gypsies and Travelers - especially for those who want to understand the reasons behind the Dale Farm evictions... Read more
Published 3 months ago by J HOWORTH
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read. Katharine Quarmby has given me a ...
A must read. Katharine Quarmby has given me a real insight into the difficulties travellers face. Well written, balanced and thought provoking
Published 4 months ago by jackie schneider
4.0 out of 5 stars An important book for our understanding of this minority community in...
The subject is a very important one and the book is written with a real understanding of and sympathy with the lives of Gypsies.

I did find it rather long-winded. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars painstakingly researched, refreshingly honest, brilliantly expressed
I've read many books on Gypsy and Traveller culture and history but few manage to weave the dry legislative machinations and brutal lived experiences of Gypsies and Travellers (and... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mr. J. V. Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars compelling read
allthough I have not fininshed reading this yet (dyslexia makes reading slow job) the words are of a quality that compels me to keep going and I find it an easy style of writing to... Read more
Published 15 months ago by dJinga
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is honest warm and fair
This story in part is about my family a very difficult time in our lives so I thought it would be hard to read but the stories were told with such warmth and fairness that it... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Senga Townsley
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely well written and a book everyone should read.
'No place to call home' by katharine Quarmby.

Obviously I knew Katharine was writing a book, but had no conception of what this book has eventually become. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Candy Sheridan
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great book
I have really enjoyed reading this book, it gives you real good insight into the gypsy culture and lives of travellers. Read more
Published 15 months ago by mandy sanghera
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