At Night All Blood Is Black

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At Night All Blood Is Black
Author
TranslatorAnna Moschovakis (English)
Illustrator
Country France
LanguageFrench
Published
  • 2018 (Le Seuil) (French)
  • 2020 (Pushkin Press) (English)
Pages

At Night All Blood Is Black (French: Frère d'âme, lit. 'Soul brother') is the second novel of French author David Diop.

Plot[edit]

At Night All Blood Is Black follows two Senegalese soldiers, Alfa Ndiaye and Mademba, fighting for the French Army during the First World War.

Reception[edit]

Awards[edit]

The novel was awarded the 2018 Prix Goncourt des Lycéens.[1]

The work was awarded the 2020 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for the fiction category.[2]

The novel was shortlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Critical reviews of the novel were generally favourable. Angelique Chrisafis in The Guardian said the book was "heartbreaking and poetic".[4] Suzi Feay in The Spectator wrote of the novel as "powerful" and "full of echoes and portents".[5] In The New York Times Laura Cappelle praised the work for contributing to a "reckoning with colonial history in French fiction", and Chigozie Obioma described it as an "extraordinary" novel about a "bloody stain on human history".[6][7] Anna Branach-Kallas argued that the novel commemorates the contribution of African French Army soldiers in the First World War by stressing their vulnerability and their traumatic transformation on the front lines.[8]

References[edit]

  1. Marivat, Gladys (15 November 2018). "Le Goncourt des lycéens récompense David Diop pour "Frère d'âme"". Le Monde (in français). Archived from the original on 9 April 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. Pineda, Dorany (16 April 2021). "Winners of the 2020 L.A. Times Book Prizes announced". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 21 May 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. Flood, Alison (22 April 2021). "International Booker prize shortlist led by books 'pushing the boundaries' of fiction". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 13 May 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  4. Chrisafis, Angelique (23 November 2019). "'There is a thirst for writers of mixed heritage': what is France reading?". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  5. Feay, Suzi (21 November 2020). "A brutal education: At Night All Blood is Black, by David Diop, reviewed". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 20 November 2020. Retrieved 29 May 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. Cappelle, Laura (30 May 2021). "He Is Senegalese and French, With Nothing to Reconcile". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  7. Obioma, Chigozie (10 November 2020). "In the Trenches of World War I, a Bloody Ritual Fueled by Guilt". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  8. Branach-Kallas, Anna (26 February 2021). "Tirailleurs Sénégalais, Savagery, and War Trauma in At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop". Journal of War & Culture Studies: 1–16. doi:10.1080/17526272.2021.1891674 – via Taylor & Francis online.

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