— Ivan Vladislavic, Double Negative (via larmoyante)
The deadline to subscribe and receive BY NIGHT THE MOUNTAIN BURNS by Juan Tomás Avila Laurel is fast approaching. We hope you will join us as a subscriber and support excellent books from around the world.
We learned in February (and mentioned on this page two weeks ago) that Juan Tomás was forced into hiding upon his return to Equatorial Guinea after three years in exile. As reported by the Los Angeles Review of Books:
"Juan Tomás Avila Laurel is Equatorial Guinea’s most important living writer, but he’s often been persecuted by his own state for his outspokenness regarding their blatant disregard of human rights. This week that disregard has turned dangerous, as Malabo’s infamous security forces have forced Avila Laurel, 48, into hiding for his work as activist. Avila Laurel had planned a sit-in protesting a recent wave of police brutality, and had requested official permission to stage the event, as required by national law. Soon after being denied the requested permission, Avila Laurel was informed that political party El Elefante y La Palmera [Elephant and Palm Tree], which had made the official request, had been declared dissolved by the Guinean government, and that he was one of several activists targeted for arrest without formal charges. The government crackdown centers on the political party El Elefante y la Palmera [Elephant and Palm Tree], known for its peaceful protests of police and government brutality, and is officially focused on the arrest of party founder Salvador Ebang Ela."
We appreciate your support for all of our books but in times like these we feel especially thankful for all of the subscribers who help us to bring great writers like Juan Tomás to an English speaking audience. Thank you!
We are very excited to announce that TWO of our books have been considered for the Rossica Translation Prize 2014. Ian Appleby’s translation of Captain of the Steppe by Oleg Pavlov was longlisted. Andrew Bromfield’s translation of Happiness is Possible by Oleg Zaionchkovksy has been shortlisted. We are delighted that both Ian and Andrew’s translation work has been recognised.
translated by Jethro Soutar
Sambizanga, January 1994. Our flights to Lisbon had just been confirmed. It was the news we’d been anxiously awaiting for three whole days. Not because we felt any great urge to leave Luanda, but because the neighbourhood we found ourselves in was the most terrifying place we’d ever known. All the same, neither I nor my brother Kady, two years older but three inches shorter (this shouldn’t be relevant, but everyone always mentioned it), were in any mood to celebrate.
The moment had finally come to leave Sambizanga – Sambila, to the Luandenses – one of the capital’s oldest, most populous and emblematic suburbs. We’d been there for three long days, two adolescent Benguelenses too frightened to venture out into the labyrinthine streets. AK47 gunshots echoing in the dead of night no longer scared us, but the gunfire in Sambila seemed somehow shriller than ‘our own’ back home. As if the trigger was being pulled in the backyard of the house where we’d taken shelter.