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The Stopping Places: A Journey Through Gypsy Britain Hardcover – 7 Jun 2018

4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus (7 Jun. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1784741035
  • ISBN-13: 978-1784741037
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Tender and intensely lyrical ... the prose is pure delight. The author breathes life into everything he sees ... To read The Stopping Places is to better understand the curious history of the Roma and how they have survived into 21st-century Britain" (Jackie Annesley The Sunday Times)

"A beautiful writer who seems born to tell this fascinating story. It's brilliantly researched, avoiding stereotype and explaining misconceptions, while showing what is vital and special about modern traveller culture" (Amy Liptrot)

"A fine prose style, vividly conjuring the smell of a hop pillow, the whinnying of a horse fair and the ‘wet-look hairstyles’ of the men, as well as the dead cold of a wagon in winter... An element of memoir clings to this excellent account of folk most of us don’t understand... The end of the book hints at redemption, as Le Bas comes to terms with the conflicts of his dual world. But he is too good a writer to make a meal of it" (Sara Wheeler The Spectator)

"An insight into the hidden world and culture of travelling people, written with delicacy and affection" (Ken Loach)

"Beautifully written and deeply affecting… While this is a beautiful, important book about Gypsy culture, it’s also a moving exploration of what it means to belong" (Clover Stroud Daily Telegraph)

"An illuminating journey into a British culture and landscape about which most of us know nothing. This is a beautiful, important and revelatory book from a graceful new voice" (Patrick Barkham)

"Le Bas is a thoughtful writer, observant of nature and with a lovely turn of phrase... by turn lyrical, edgy and wistful... the book is rich with lore and history" (Kathleen Jamie New Statesman)

"I loved Damian Le Bas’s beautiful, questioning memoir, at once an introduction into a hidden world and a profound meditation on belonging and difference" (Olivia Laing)

"He conjures up soaring, poetic descriptions of his surroundings... But The Stopping Places is more than a travelogue. It is also a colourful dive into gypsy culture, history and language... The Stopping Places is an enjoyable and enlightening account of an overlooked part of British society" (The Economist)

"A delicate description of a life split between two identities... Le Bas has a cinematic writing style that shifts between images, memory and history. He deftly traces the origins of his people, the language and persecutions as well as modern British hypocrisies... This is a thoroughly enjoyable read that manages a near-perfect balance of the personal and political" (Morgan Meaker Prospect)

About the Author

Damian Le Bas was born in 1985 into a long line of Gypsies and Travellers. He was raised within a network of relations who taught him how to ride and drive ponies, tractors and trucks, sing melancholy cowboy ballads and speak the thousand-year-old Romani tongue. He was awarded scholarships to study at Christ’s Hospital and the University of Oxford. Between 2011 and 2015 he was the editor of Travellers’ Times, Britain’s only national magazine for Gypsies and Travellers. The Stopping Places is his first book.

Damian lives and works mostly in Kent, with his wife (the actor Candis Nergaard); and Sussex, where he grew up and where his nan – who taught him the old Romany Travellers’ little-known routes and ways – both still live.

35 customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

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