Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel
Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel was born in 1966 in Equatorial Guinea, Africa’s only Spanish-speaking country. His parents were from the remote Annobón Island, off the African coast. His books include Avión de Ricos and Ladrón De Cerdos (The Rich Man’s Aeroplane and The Pig Thief) and the short story collection Cuentos Crudos (Raw Tales). By Night The Mountain Burns (Arde El Monte De Noche) is based on his memories of growing up on Annobón.
Ávila Laurel has been a constant thorn in the side of his country’s long-standing dictatorial government. A nurse by profession, for many years he was one of the best known Equatorial Guinean writers not to have opted to live in exile. But, in 2011, after a week-long hunger strike in protest against Obiang’s regime, timed to coincide with the President of Spain’s visit to Equatorial Guinea, Ávila Laurel moved to Barcelona. He writes across all media as a blogger, essayist and novelist.