Mikey was born into a Romany Gypsy family. They live in a closeted 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 and Mikey grew up surrounded by a memorable cast of eccentrics, including his three-foot tall grandmother- a fierce matriarch who didn't let her diminutive stature get in her way, and his flame-haired mother with a penchant for Dynasty, Angel Delight and electric blue mascara...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 agonising decision -- to stay and keep secrets, or escape and find somewhere to belong.
'Explosive, sparkling and hugely entertaining - this is a twisted fairytale from a truly original mind' -- Hayley Atwell, star of The Duchess and Brideshead Revisited 'Gypsy Boy is a brilliant but bittersweet story, which reads like a magical fairytale. Although he could be excused for doing so, Mikey never descends into self pity - and has found the perfect balance between humour and harsh reality. Gypsy Boy sits somewhere between the grittiness of Irvine Welsh, and the charming warmth of Frank McCourt.' -- Dermot O'Leary
Five years ago Mikey Walsh finally succumbed to staying put. London called him and it is the longest time he has ever lived in one place. He works at a nearby primary school, where he teaches art and drama, and also picks up the formal education he missed out on as a child. Mikey proposed to his partner on the number 38 bus two years ago and they married last summer.