At Night All Blood is Black
The winner of the 2021 International Booker Prize tells the story of a Senegalese soldier in the trenches. It is written in an hypnotic and powerful prose.
Alfa and Mademba are two of the many Senegalese soldiers fighting in the Great War. Together they climb dutifully out of their trenches to attack France's German enemies whenever the whistle blows, until Mademba is wounded, and dies in a shell hole with his belly torn open. Gone is his more-than-brother and Alfa is alone, lost amidst the savagery of the conflict. He embraces himself to the horror of 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?
At Night All Blood is Black is a hypnotic, heartbreaking rendering of a mind hurtling towards madness.David Diop was born in Paris in 1966 and grew up in Senegal. He now lives in France, where he is a professor of eighteenth century literature at the University of Pau. At Night All Blood is Black is David's second novel. It was shortlisted for ten major prizes in France and won the Prix Goncourt des Lyceens. It has so far been translated into 13 languages, winning the Italian Strega European Prize, the Dutch Europese Literatuurprijs and the Swiss Prix Ahmadou-Kourouma.