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“Eternal Guest”

by Rubén Gallego

Is it possible for a person who has experienced pain and humiliation, who has undergone severe and cruel ordeals, to find a place on earth that will finally bring him peace and tranquility?



by Rubén Gallego

How does one live and what does one think when there is no future? What is there to hold onto in this world that is killing you slowly?


“White on Black”

by Rubén Gallego

This is an extraordinary personal testament, the story of one boy’s triumph in the face of impossible obstacles.


Rubén David González Gallego

The Author

Famous Russian Writer and a Survivor

“I am sitting on the shore. I can’t raise my leg. For me, even raising my hand is a difficult task. So what? It does not matter. Nature does not permit a subjunctive mood. It was what it was. It is what it is. What has been written, remains written.“

Born in USSR with severe cerebral palsy. Was separated from his family at the age of one and he spent his childhood and teenage years in Soviet orphanages for disabled children. His documentary confession novel “White on Black“ (Russian Booker Prize for 2003), translated into dozens of languages, created a sensation among the reading public, the circles of which diverge so far.

What Press Say


“Heralded as a ground-breaking expose of the Soviet Union's abuse of the handicapped… White on Black is remarkably short on self-pity and moral outrage; filled instead with simply delivered anecdotes of improvised survival and the friendships that enabled [Gallego] to persevere… The resulting narrative feels at once concentrated and universalized beyond specific individuals or nations.”(!)

The New York Times

“A harrowing and graceful memoir that consistently emphasizes empowerment and endurance over self-pity.” A-

Entertainment Weekly

“To [Gallego] the Soviet myth is little more than a hollow and oppressive pretense at compassion. Gallego unmasks that charade with intelligence and authority, exposing along with it any cult of heroism that thrives on suppressing human weakness… White on Black demonstrates in no uncertain terms that this hero is alive and kicking.”

The Washington Post Book World

“Poignant, powerful… Mr. Gallego little book is deeply moving, his triumph is a joy to read about.”

The Washington Times

“[A] short, sharp stunner of a memoir… A rich, haunting and deceptively simple work.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“What makes this powerful volume a read treasure is that it is not simply a story of Gallego's life. Instead, it is a complex portrait of a world far removed from most people's imagining. It is a series of fine prose photos of characters he met, of incidents of his and other 'non-ambulants' lives, told in a spare, Chekhovian style.”

Russian Life magazine

“ Gallego has triumphed over his disability and circumstances to write White on Black, a novelized memoir that is itself a kind of torpedo against mistreatment of the handicapped ”


“ Marian Schwartz's lucent translation preserves Gallego's unique mix of fury and bittersweet laughter – one part perennial child, one part old man, an uncanny facsimile of the orphanages and old-age homes where he lived. ”

“[An] extraordinary book of 'stories', spare, elliptical, often fierce vignettes… These glimpses of adversity and triumph are quirky, sometimes appalling, often funny and touching without being sentimental. ”

Publishers Weekly

“An extraordinary book… Better than any appeal to the heart, this book has the appeal of truth. Our feelings are aroused not by the author, who does not want us to pity him, but by the facts he so starkly conveys… Reminiscent of Primo Levi's If This Is a Man.

Times Literary Supplement (London)

“An uncomplaining account of the harshest imaginable upbringing, it is a tribute to the resilience of individual will. The symbolism of the Soviet Union as a country full of morally disabled people in which the human spirit nevertheless survives is as potent as it is understated.”

New Statesman (London)

“Gallego's rendering of his story in White on Black is a tale of survival against the greatest odds.”

Radio Free Europe

“This is more than an account of a difficult childhood. In an intensely precise prose, Gallego has given us a portrait of the inner life of a dictatorship”

Markische Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)

“Breathtaking… One of the season's most memorable debuts.”

Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)

Translated to more than twelve languages

Published Work

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