At Night All Blood Is Black - Reading Guide
Unique insights from the judges, the author and the translator of this ‘astonishing’ novel, winner of the 2021 International Booker Prize
A hypnotic, heartbreaking rendering of a mind hurtling towards madness, shattered by grief and the horror of war. Translated by Anna Moschovakis.
Alfa and Mademba are two Senegalese soldiers fighting in the Great War, dutifully climbing out of their trenches to attack whenever the whistle blows. Then Mademba is mortally wounded, and dies in a shell hole with his belly torn open. Without his more-than-brother, Alfa is alone and lost amidst the savagery of the conflict. He devotes himself to the war, to violence and death, but soon begins to frighten even his own comrades in arms. How far will Alfa go to make amends to his dead friend?
About the AuthorDavid Diop was born in Paris and grew up in Senegal. He now lives in France, where he is a professor of 18th-century literature at the University of Pau.
About the TranslatorAnna Moschovakis is a poet, author and translator. Her works include the award-winning poetry collection You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake
Its incantatory prose and dark brilliant vision had jangled our emotions and blown our minds... it cast a spell on us.
Actor Ken Nwosu reads an extract from At Night All Blood is Black, written by David Diop, translated by Anna Moschovakis and winner of the 2021 International Booker Prize.
This video was created for Edinburgh International Book Festival in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and directed by Blanche McIntyre.
I wanted to allow the reader to inhabit the mind of a young African man, to give them unfiltered access to his experience of war