Panelists

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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 island of Annobón. His novel By Night The Mountain Burns, translated by Jethro Soutar, has been published in English by And Other Stories, and his poems and essays have appeared in World Literature Today and the Guardian. 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.