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SHORTLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE 2021
A GUARDIAN and THE TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
'This slight book is an extraordinarily powerful exploration of what happens to the souls of men sent to kill and be killed' The Times, Historical Fiction Books of the Year
'Extraordinary... full of sadness, rage and beauty' Sarah Waters
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.
'This slight book explodes with extraordinary force - readers will not forget it in a hurry' - The Times, Historical Fiction Book of the Month
'Extraordinary... full of sadness, rage and beauty' - Sarah Waters
'So incantatory and visceral I don't think I'll ever forget it' -- Ali Smith, Guardian, Books of the Year
'Heartbreaking and poetic' - Guardian
'From the very first pages, there is something beguiling about At Night All Blood Is Black... By the time we reach its shocking yet ultimately transcendent ending, the story has turned into something mystical... More than a century after World War I, a great new African writer is asking these questions in a spare yet extraordinary novel about this bloody stain on human history' - Chigozie Obioma, New York Times Book Review
'A short, powerful novel... Diop presents a world with no firm dividing line between courage and madness, murder and warfare; the most dedicated killers are awarded the Croix de Guerre. Alfa's final transformation, as he attempts to atone for his guilt over the death of his friend, is unexpected, poetic - and chilling' - Spectator
'An unrelenting take on war, race, masculinity, and colonialism... Diop's short, sharp, and serrated novel is a visceral dramatization of how our humanity and inhumanity are forever intertwined' - Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Sympathies
'Visceral, harrowing, yet absolutely riveting' - Refinery29
'Spare and devastating... An outstandingly affecting, genre-defying nightmare' - Shelf Awareness
'A powerful, truthful look at the meaningless horror of war from the perspective of those whose experience as soldiers from colonial countries has been so undervalued and unexplored' - Culturefly
'This haunting tale of a Senegalese man's experience in WWI is a poetic look at the horrors of war and its effect on mental health' - Buzzfeed