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About Anna Moschovakis
Anna Moschovakis is the author most recently of the novel Eleanor, or, The Rejection of the Progress of Love (Coffee House Press, 2018). Her books of poetry include the James Laughlin award-winning You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake and They and We Will Get Into Trouble for This, a "best of 2016" pick at BOMB, Entropy, and The New Yorker. Her translations from French include David Diop's At Night All Blood Is Black, Albert Cossery's The Jokers, Annie Ernaux's The Possession, and Bresson on Bresson, and experimental translations of and with the Algerian poet Samira Negrouche. A recipient of grants and fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts, The Poetry Fund, the Howard Foundation, and apexart, she has taught in the graduate writing programs at Bard, Pratt, and Columbia. She is a longtime member of the publishing collective Ugly Duckling Presse and a co-founder of Bushel, an art and community space in Delhi, NY.
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*WINNER OF THE 2021 INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE*
*A BARACK OBAMA SUMMER READING LIST SELECTION*
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction
"Astonishingly good." —Lily Meyer, NPR
"So incantatory and visceral I don’t think I’ll ever forget it." —Ali Smith, The Guardian | Best Books of 2020
One of The Wall Street Journal's 11 best books of the fall | One of The A.V. Club's fifteen best books of 2020 |A Sunday Times best book of the year
Selected by students across France to win the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens, David Diop’s English-language, historical fiction debut At Night All Blood is Black is a “powerful, hypnotic, and dark novel” (Livres Hebdo) of terror and transformation in the trenches of the First World War.
Alfa Ndiaye is a Senegalese man who, never before having left his village, finds himself fighting as a so-called “Chocolat” soldier with the French army during World War I. When his friend Mademba Diop, in the same regiment, is seriously injured in battle, Diop begs Alfa to kill him and spare him the pain of a long and agonizing death in No Man’s Land.
Unable to commit this mercy killing, madness creeps into Alfa’s mind as he comes to see this refusal as a cruel moment of cowardice. Anxious to avenge the death of his friend and find forgiveness for himself, he begins a macabre ritual: every night he sneaks across enemy lines to find and murder a blue-eyed German soldier, and every night he returns to base, unharmed, with the German’s severed hand. At first his comrades look at Alfa’s deeds with admiration, but soon rumors begin to circulate that this super soldier isn’t a hero, but a sorcerer, a soul-eater. Plans are hatched to get Alfa away from the front, and to separate him from his growing collection of hands, but how does one reason with a demon, and how far will Alfa go to make amends to his dead friend?
Peppered with bullets and black magic, this remarkable novel fills in a forgotten chapter in the history of World War I. Blending oral storytelling traditions with the gritty, day-to-day, journalistic horror of life in the trenches, David Diop's At Night All Blood is Black is a dazzling tale of a man’s descent into madness.
This is a novel about a novelist named Eleanor, whose laptop, containing an enigmatic document, is stolen from a coffee shop. But it is also a novel about the unnamed novelist writing Eleanor’s story, and whose relationship with a brilliant, melancholic critic is getting decidedly complicated. As Eleanor attempts to track the laptop thief from New York to Addis Ababa to the Rimbaud Museum in Harar, “the author’s and Eleanor’s stories intertwine like strands of a double helix” in this “philosophically exhaustive yet profoundly human” adventure (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
In her bracingly intellectual debut novel, the James Laughlin Award–winning poet Anna Moschovakis offers “a brilliant, visceral, sensual examination of the condition of being a woman, and the inherent struggles related to identity and authority that exist for all of us” (Nylon).
The jokers are the government, and the biggest joker of all is the governor, a bug-eyed, strutting, rapacious character of unequaled incompetence who presides over the nameless Middle Eastern city where this effervescent comedy by Albert Cossery is set.
The jokers are also the revolutionaries, no less bumbling and no less infatuated with the trappings of power than the government they oppose.
And the jokers are Karim, Omar, Heykal, Urfy, and their friends, free spirits who see the other jokers for the jokers they are and have cooked up a sophisticated and, most important, foolproof plan to enliven public life with a dash of subversive humor.
The joke is on them all.