David Diop

David Diop’s At Night All Blood is Black is on the Man Booker International Prize 2021 shortlist announced on April 22, 2021.

The Man Booker International Prize is awarded for a single book, translated into English, and published in the UK every year. Both novels and short-story collections are eligible. The work of translators is equally rewarded, with the £50,000 prize divided between the author and the translator of the winning entry. In addition, each shortlisted author and translator will receive £1,000 each. The judges considered 126 books.

DR Congo’s Fiston Mwanza Mujila and Angola’s José Eduardo Agualusa made the longlist in the first year; Mulija’s was for Tram 83 and Agualusa’s was for A General Theory of Oblivion. Agualusa went on to be shortlisted for the prize only to lose out to Korean Han Kang for her book The Vegetarian.

The judging panel for 2021 is chaired by cultural historian and novelist, Lucy Hughes-Hallett. She leads a panel consisting of journalist and writer, Aida Edemariam; Man Booker-shortlisted novelist, Neel Mukherjee; Professor of the History of Slavery, Olivette Otele; and poet, translator, and biographer, George Szirtes.

The longlist announced on March 29 featured thirteen of the books from those that were submitted in the past year. Making the shortlist is At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop translated from French by Anna Mocschovakis and published by Pushkin Press. Diop recently won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for the same book.

Prize judge George Szirtes said of the book, “At Night All Blood is Black is savage, wonderful, perceptive, unforgettable.”

The winner of the award will be announced on June 2, 2021, in a virtual celebration from Coventry, City of Culture 2021.