Ruben Gallego's memoirs read by Stephen Tompkinson.

Ruben Gallego was born in Moscow in 1968 with severe cerebral palsy.

His grandfather, Secretary-General of the Spanish Communist Party, was unbearably ashamed and banished him to a state orphanage, telling Ruben's mother that her son had died.

But Ruben was tenacious.

Born without the use of hands and feet, fighting for survival was second nature and the occasional kindnesses shown to him - a fig, a mouthful of chocolate, a conversation - fed his passion for life.

This memoir won the Russian equivalent of the Booker Prize and is now translated into English for the first time.


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0120060320Gallego is brought up by the Russian State in a series of children's homes and hospitals.
0220060321I'm convinced that life and literature have more than enough of the dark side - I write about goodness, triumph, joy and love.
The strength that breaks through all barriers to triumph.
0320060322'The classroom supervisor is giving us political instruction.
We're being told about the horrors of the Western way of life.
I'm absolutely convinced that most people in America are living on the streets in cardboard boxes.'.
0420060323'I'd been afraid of ending up in a loony bin or an old folks home since I was ten.
It was easy not to end up in a loony bin.
You just had to obey your elders.
Everyone who couldn't walk ended up in an old folks home.'.
05 LAST20060324'A wheelchair.
An American wheelchair.
I have a joystick in my hand.
The machine moves my motion-deprived body down the street of a small American town.
A woman in a wheelchair races by me at full tilt.
On the side is a colourful message in big letters - I LOVE LIFE.'
White on Black
Ruben Gallego's memoirs, read by Stephen Tompkinson.
Ruben Gallego was born in Moscow in 1968 with severe cerebral palsy.
His grandfather, the Secretary-General of the Spanish Communist Party, was unbearably ashamed and banished him to a state orphanage, telling Ruben's mother that her son had died.
But Ruben was tenacious.
Born without the use of hands and feet, fighting for survival was second nature and the occasional kindnesses shown to him - a fig, a mouthful of chocolate, a conversation - fed his passion for life.
This memoir won the Russian equivalent of the Booker Prize and is now translated into English for the first time.

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