To westerners, being Gypsy means being wild, romantic and free.
To Eliska Tanzer, it means being rented out to dance for older men. It means living without running water. It means not being allowed a job or an education. It means being stuffed into a bare room with all your aunts and cousins, fighting over the thin, stained blanket the way you fight over the last piece of half-mouldy bread.
It means joining the family prostitution ring when you’re still a child.
But Eliska was given a way out. Slung out of Hoe School and shipped to England in a washing machine box, she thought she had made it. But her dream soon turned into a nightmare.
‘A scintillating, devastating memoir, and a fiercely witty and unabashed tribute to the toughness of the human spirit. Eliska Tanzer has lived across worlds you might presume could not possibly be connected: with a unique and uncompromising voice she lays bare the complexity of families, of trauma, of courage, of European society, and of hope. If you want to keep your stereotypes pristine and intact, you’d better avoid this book. An unforgettable and courageous debut from a unique mind.’
Damian Le Bas
‘Eliska’s story is an extraordinary, and powerful read. It’s the ultimate book about survival and an against all odds fight to make it in life. Highly recommend.’
Clover Stroud, author of My Wild and Sleepless Nights