Weaving historical fact, mythic tales and contemporary voices, "Princes Amongst Men" recounts a Balkan odyssey in search of the secret history and culture of Europe's greatest musicians - the Roma Gypsies. Garth Cartwright wanders through the ruins of post-Communist Serbia and observes Roma refugees from the Kosovo conflict. He attends a Gypsy wedding in Macedonia, conveys the tragedy of Romania in the aftermath of Ceaucescu, scours Skopje for opium, charts the Euro-Asian beauties so prominent in Bulgaria and witnesses the fiery celebrations that mark Ederlezi, the Night of the Gypsies, in an impoverished Gypsy ghetto. As the popularity of Gypsy music rises in the West, "Princes Amongst Men" is set to become the classic book on their music.
"'Excellent survey of Roma musicians in the Balkans... What distinguishes Cartwright is his style, his verve and his whole-hearted engagement with his subject' Observer 'Funny, revealing and frequently moving' Observer Music Monthly 'A timely and hugely enjoyable exploration of the most exciting music Europe has to offer' Songlines 'Reminiscent of Jack Kerouac or Hunter S. Thompson... the prose is carefully written and keenly observed' New Internationalist 'For anyone interested in the reality of Roma culture, or planning a holiday in the region, this is the perfect offbeat companion' Sue Steward, Telegraph 'Insightful, energised and empathetic' Time Out"
Garth Cartwright was born in New Zealand. He left school at 16, tried his hand at professional skateboarding, singing in punk bands, promoting concerts and even had a brief sojourn as a boxer, before turning to writing full time. In 1995 he won the Guardian Music Writing Award. He has written for the Guardian, Telegraph, Independent On Sunday, The Times, Time Out, Uncut, Folk Roots, and a multitude of international publications. He lives in London.