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?

Winner
The 2021 International Booker Prize
Published by
Pushkin Press
Publication date
David Diop

David Diop

About the Author

David 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.
More about David Diop
Anna Moschovakis

Anna Moschovakis

About the Translator

Anna Moschovakis is a poet, author and translator. Her works include the award-winning poetry collection You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake
More about Anna Moschovakis

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 from At Night All Blood is Black

 

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.

At Night All Blood Is Black

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