The absolutely deserving International Booker Prize 2021 winner is terribly heartbreaking with dark brilliant vision.

This quite short novel is told from the point of view of Alfa, a young Senegalese soldier fighting for French during the First World War and his searing descent into madness after the death of his childhood friend in the battlefield.

The story is terribly dense, savage and extremely compelling which sheds a light on young African soldiers in battlefield and their colonial past and how they are taken into a world completely different with unexpected dangers of death.

The novel stunningly captures the harrowing present and past about Alfa’s family, love, youth and brotherly love in a moving way.

The translation is beautiful full of poetic and lyrical prose but what’s most extraordinary is that yes this book is full of sadness yet there’s rage running deeply in this absolutely stunning piece of work.

At night all blood is black : Written by David Diop, translated by Anna Moschovakis Published by Pushkin Press.

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