French-Senegalese author David Diop’s debut novel At Night All Blood is Black has been shortlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize, which celebrates the best fiction from around the world translated into English from a foreign language and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland.
The shortlist of six was drawn from an earlier-named longlist of thirteen, which included Kenyan legend Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. The judging panel, chaired by cultural historian and novelist Lucy Hughes-Hallett, includes journalist Aida Edemariam, Man Booker shortlisted novelist Neel Mukherjee, Professor of the History of Slavery Olivette Otele, and poet George Szirtes.
At Night All Blood is Black was translated in English by American poet and novelist Anna Moschovakis. The novel centers on the lives of Senegalese soldiers who fought for France during World War I. It was published late last year by Farrar, Straus and Giroux to critical acclaim, including a spot in Brittle Paper‘s 50 Notable African Books of the 2020.
The 2021 International Booker Prize winner will be announced on 2 June 2021 in an online ceremony from Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.
Previous African nominees include Alain Mabanckou in 2017 (longlist) for Black Moses , DRC’s Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s Tram 83 (longlist) and Angola’s Jose Eduardo Agualusa’s A General Theory of Oblivion (shortlist) in 2016.
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Best wishes to David Diop!