The Gurugu Pledge Book Cover
Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel

The Gurugu Pledge

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.

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  • 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.
  • Find out more about Ávila Laurel’s first novel in English, By Night the Mountain Burns.
Print status: Available
Translator: Jethro Soutar
Original language: Spanish
Format: B-format paperback
Publication date: 24 August 2017
ISBN: 9781908276940
Ebook ISBN: 9781908276957
Availability: World
Number of pages: 192


Kapka Kassabova
The Guardian

The Gurugu Pledge is a dazzling relay race of storytelling. The polyphonic pleasure of these pages comes from the effortless way in which Ávila Laurel makes story generate more story.’

Miranda France
The Times Literary Supplement

‘Ávila Laurel does not trade in easy assertions . . . an exceptional and timely novel . . . beautifully translated by Jethro Soutar.’

The New Internationalist

‘By turns heartbreaking and humorous, The Gurugu Pledge is a book right on the frontline of the refugee crisis and a stinging and necessary rebuke to those who believe that walls and fences are a solution rather than a shameful reminder of abject failure.’

Lucy Popescu
New Humanist

The Gurugu Pledge serves as a searing indictment of hatred of ‘the other’ and as an urgent call for tolerance. The final message is clear: Europe needs to build bridges, not walls.’

Kirkus Reviews

‘Ávila Laurel’s prose (via Soutar’s translation) has the benefit of plainspoken, documentary force and breadth of vision, his narrative eye exploring a variety of elements of life in the camp but concluding with a unified struggle for optimism and liberation. An understated, somber, and highly observant sketchbook of lives on the margins.’

Vol. 1 Brooklyn, 2017 Favourites

The Gurugu Pledge tells a powerful, necessary story.'