The Literary Club of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai
invites you to an Online talk: “At Night All Blood is Black” (Winner of the 2021 International Booker Prize) by Prof. Vidya Vencatesan Wednesday 22nd September at 6 pm on Zoom
The Literary Club of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai is pleased to invite you to a talk by Prof. Vidya Vencatesan on David Diop’s “At Night All Blood is Black”, originally published in French as “Frère d’âme.” The lecture will be held on Wednesday 22nd September at 6 pm on a Zoom platform.
The novel, first published in August 2018, won the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens the same year, the English translation by Anna Moscovakhis won the 2021 International Booker prize, making Diop the first French author to win this award.
David Diop, a West African writer, who lives and teaches at a University in France, speaks for the countless black soldiers who died in the First World War. They fought a war that was not theirs, they lie unsung in a foreign land and Diop expresses “The voice of the people without voice”. The short intense novel, inspired by the story of the Black African soldiers who fought for France in the trenches between 1914-1918, is a fictional construct with epic overtones. The stream of consciousness technique captures the tragedy of a young man’s mind hurtling towards madness, depicting the trauma suffered by the young pushed into a situation of extreme distress.
This lecture, which examines Diop’s dense prose, looks at the savagery of war and friendship beyond race in the bleak environs of No Man’s land. This unrelenting take on conflict, race, masculinity and colonialism is a gripping read.
Dr. Vidya Vencatesan is Professor and Head, Department of French, Director, at the University of Mumbai and Editor, Synergies Inde, Revue du Gerflint, France.
Please join us for this captivating talk, do participate with questions, comments and memories of other books you have read, drawing parallels with war literature you may be familiar with.

Join Zoom for the programme:
Meeting ID: 872 8442 1411
Passcode: 119606

- Dr Usha R Vijailakshmi, Officiating Hon. Secretary, The Asiatic Society of Mumbai
- Meenal Kshirsagar, Vice President of the Society & Chairperson - ASM LitClub