Pictures From the FireBook - 2003
Emilia's family are Romanian gypsies and believe she has brought shame on them. Locked in the family's rooms in a refugee hostel, isolated and afraid, she finds a notebook and begins to draw a picture diary of her life: poverty and persecution in Bucharest, the family's flight to England hidden in a lorry; her joy at going to school, and the family's abrupt departure following a race riot. And as she finishes the last picture, she is shocked into an act of courage that may open the door to freedom.
Gaye Hicyilmaz has a rare gift of empathy and her picture of the closed world of Romanian gypsies, and of the racial hatred they encounter, is truthful, uncompromising, and compelling.