Karen's (Retired Bookseller) review; What an extraordinary, remarkable novel. Alfa and his more-than-brother Mabemba are Senegdese soldiers fighting for the French against the Germans in the Great War. In the horror & violence of tench warfare Mabemba dies following severe wounds. Alfa, sufferuing grief and guilt for his more than brother begins his own battle leading towards a growing state of madness.
This novel is totally unforgettable, though maybe not for the faint-hearted.
The prize-winning story of a Senegalese soldier in the trenches, told in hypnotic, powerful prose. Winner of the 2021 International Booker Prize.
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.
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?
At Night All Blood is Black is a hypnotic, heartbreaking rendering of a mind hurtling towards madness.
'So incantatory and visceral I don't think I'll ever forget it' - Ali Smith, Guardian Book of the Year
Historical World War
David Diop, Anna Moschovakis
H: 198mm W: 129mm