David Diop was born in Paris and was raised in Senegal. He is the head of the Arts, Languages, and Literature Department at the University of Pau, where his research includes such topics as eighteenth-century French literature and European representations of Africa in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. His second novel, At Night All Blood Is Black, was awarded the International Booker Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction. Anna Moschovakis's books of poetry include the James Laughlin Award-winning You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake and a novel, Eleanor, or, The Rejection of the Progress of Love. Her translations from the French include Albert Cossery's The Jokers, Annie Ernaux's The Possession, and Bresson on Bresson.
Beguiling . . . Diop realizes the full nature of war--that
theater of macabre and violent drama--on the page. He takes his
character into the depths of hell and lets him thrive there . . .
As violent and disturbing as these encounters are, they are
rendered with such artistic grace that one derives a strange
pleasure in reading about even the bloodiest of nights.
--Chigozie Obioma, The New York Times Book Review
Astonishingly good. --Lily Meyer, NPR Harrowing . . . [At
Night All Blood Is Black] confronts the historical image of Black
soldiers by stretching barbarism to its ironic limits . . . What
seems most pointed in Diop's novel is its exploration of what it
meant for West African men to fight side by side, and to grieve one
another. --Emmanuel Iduma, The New York Review of Books
Powerfully original . . . Unflinching in its exploration of the
madness war can induce, Diop's novella is a remarkable piece of
writing. --Nick Rennison, The Times (London) The
International Booker prize winner is a brilliant, shifting tale . .
. [At Night All Blood Is Black] rewards rereading, which recasts
the violent opening chapters in a new, even darker light . . .
Quite unlike anything else. --John Self, The Observer As in
many of the best novels of active combat . . . Diop accentuates
tragedy with bitter irony . . . There is great beauty here. Diop's
sentences have a tidal quality, carrying in phrases worn smooth
with repetition. --Jessi Jezewska Stevens, Foreign Policy
[David Diop] conveys the overwhelming impact of wartime trauma on a
bewildered young man in lyrical language, translated by [Anna]
Moschovakis into rhythmic and dynamic English prose. --The
Economist A stunning new novel about the plight of two Senegalese
soldiers in the Great War offers a fresh perspective. It also
introduces a singular talent . . . An immersive, propulsive read,
one that searingly evokes the terrors of trench warfare, the
relentless loss of life, and the irreparable damage inflicted on
the human soul . . . Employing language that is, by turn, visceral
and lyrical, Diop tells a devastating story of loss and inhumanity
while enlarging our understanding of the war to end all wars.
--Malcolm Forbes, Star Tribune Heartbreaking and poetic . . .
[At Night All Blood Is Black] addresses a story woefully
absent from French history books - the inner life of African troops
who fought in the French trenches in the first world war.
--Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian "Spare and devastating,
At Night All Blood Is Black by French Senegalese author David Diop
is a bone-chilling anti-war treatise . . . Resonates far beyond the
geographic, political, racial and historical details . . . Diop has
an ideal translator in Anna Moschovakis, who renders his prose into
a gorgeously disturbing devolution of humanity. Overlapping
bildungsroman, fever dream, morality tale and historical record,
Diop creates an outstandingly affecting, genre-defying nightmare."
--Shelf Awareness (starred review) One could
recommend this novella by its name alone. Fortunately, what its
evocative and ominous title hints at--a dark story told in lyrical
prose--is more than delivered on in David Diop's rhythmic,
enchanting fiction (expertly translated from the French by Anna
Moschovakis) . . . More than anything [Diop] shows just how
slippery the self can be when individuals are placed within
extraordinary, violent circumstances. --The A.V. Club With
elegant brevity, 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.
--Suzi Feay, The Spectator Diop's short but emotionally
packed second novel illuminates an underreported chapter in French
and Senegalese history. Part folklore, part existential howl, and
part prose poem, it is a heartbreaking account of pointless
suffering . . . A searing, eye-opening tale of innocence
destroyed." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Musical . . . Harrowing . . . The novel veers toward a transcendent
ending . . . Diop's second novel is scalding, mesmerizing, and
troubling in the best way. Highly recommended. --Library
Journal (starred review) [A] harrowing, nimbly translated
English-language debut . . . Diop is sure to earn readers with
this feverish exercise in psychological horror." --Publishers
Weekly An extraordinary novel, full of sadness, rage and
beauty. --Sarah Waters, author of The Little Stranger
David Diop's All Blood is Black at Night is an unrelenting take on
war, race, masculinity, and colonialism. Most of all, 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 winner and author of The
Sympathizer David Diop's At Night All Blood Is Black is
a particularly pertinent reflection on the evils of war, as
well as a profound exploration of the human soul.
--J.M.G. Le Clezio, winner of the Nobel Prize in
This novel is a wonder. Written in a simple, almost naive, yet astonishing style, it speaks of the tragedy of the trenches with a moving delicacy. This is no war novel, but a book on what Montaigne called 'the solder of brotherhood.' --Tahar Ben Jelloun, Le Point David Diop here erects a beautiful monument to the Senegalese riflemen, and seeks to restore their African dimension; to listen to them, to understand them. --Mathias Enard, Le Monde