David Diop, a French writer and academic, won the prize with his unsettling tale, translated by Anna Moschovakis, of two Senegalese soldiers fighting in the trenches of the First World War.

Diop, who is half-Senegalese, spent much of his childhood in Dakar and was inspired to write At Night All Blood is Black by the lack of historical information around the many African soldiers who fought and died for France in the war. As an academic, Diop specialises in 18th century literature, and his novel, in which a soldier is unhinged by the death of his comrade, weaves in old European racial stereotypes of African savagery. In the poet and novelist Moschovakis, Diop found an attuned translator: she too has split heritage - American and Greek.

David Diop
Translated by
Anna Moschovakis
Published by
Pushkin Press
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.

The Shortlist

At Night All Blood Is Black
Prize winner

Translated by Anna Moschovakis

The Dangers Of Smoking In Bed

Translated by Megan McDowell

The Employees

Translated by Martin Aitken

The Longlist

The 2021 judges

Watch the 2021 International Booker Prize Awards Ceremony


Held virtually in 2021 due to the continuing Covid-19 restrictions at the time.

Discover more about 2021’s shortlisted books and witness the winning author and translator as they find out that they are the recipients of the 2021 International Booker Prize. 

At Night All Blood Is Black book jacket image