The Gurugu Pledge by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel


Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel

Jethro Soutar

Price: £10 (print), £5 (ebook)

B-format paperback


eBook ISBN:

Original language:

Published by:
And Other Stories

Publication date:
2 August 2017

On Mount Gurugu, overlooking the Spanish enclave of Melilla on the North African coast, desperate migrants gather before attempting to scale the city’s walls and gain asylum on European soil. Inspired by first-hand accounts, Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel has written an urgent novel, by turns funny and sad, bringing a distinctly African perspective to a major issue of our time.


Praise for Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel and By Night the Mountain Burns

  • ‘The volcanic island of Annobón, off the west African coast, provides the setting for this novel about a poor community facing a series of natural disasters. Survival, hope and despair wrestle in this surprising work by Equatorial Guinea’s leading author.’ Angel Gurria-Quintana, Financial Times (Books of the Year 2014)
  • ‘Linguistic play and rhythm are clearly important to Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel, that they are effectively conveyed in Jethro Soutar’s eloquent translation … It has been shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize: a recognition it richly deserves.’ Times Literary Supplement
  • ‘Ávila Laurel is a brave opponent of the corrupt Obiang regime in his native land. His dark, troubled narrative of “our Atlantic Ocean island” is remarkable, original and poetic.’ Tom Moriarty, Irish Times
  • ‘Here a delightfully candid, deceptively sober narrative voice weaves brief histories of a collective existence shaped by living on the shores of a sea that does not (or will not?) provide sufficient sustenance.’ IFFP Judge Helen Oyeyemi
  • ‘A leading light of the Equatorial Guinean literature movement, whose novel By Night the Mountain Burns tells of a childhood on a remote west African island’ IFFP Longlist Announcement, The Guardian
  • ‘Poignant . . . This fascinating story emerges from the speaker’s inquiries into the identities and social laws of his community, and from his attempts to make sense of the calamities of his homeland.’ Publishers Weekly


More information

  • If you had subscribed to And Other Stories before 6 January 2017, you would have received a first edition copy of the book – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – before its official publication, as well us up to five other And Other Stories titles per year. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.
  • Read an interview with Ávila Laurel in the Irish Times.
  • Read an interview with Ávila Laurel’s translator, Jethro Soutar.

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