This reading group is dedicated to David Diop’s novel Frère d’âme (At Night All Blood is Black). The book translated by Anna Moschovakis won the International Booker Prize in 2021, making Diop the first French writer to receive this award.
Childhood friends Alfa Ndiaye et Mademba Diop 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. Left alone, Alfa devotes himself to the war, to violence and death, and soon begins to lose his mind.
Commemorating the French African soldiers’ contribution to the First World War, David Diop illuminates an underreported chapter in French and Senegalese history. His hypnotic tale of a Senegalese soldier’s descent into madness is a powerful questioning on war, race, masculinity, and colonialism.
You can find information on the book in English on the British publisher’s website.
Please note that the author won’t be present in person.
Reading Group as part of Black History Month
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