A TOTAL of 1,000 free copies of the 2021 International Booker Prize winner All Night All Blood is Black are being delivered to libraries across Coventry as part of the UK City of Culture.
The Big Coventry Booker Read will bring the city together in a ‘virtual book club’ to read and discuss the winning novel this summer.
People of all ages and walks of life across the city, including avid readers, book club members, students and young people, are being invited to join in between Monday, July 5, and August 31.
At Night All Blood is Black, written by David Diop and translated from French by Anna Moschovakis, was announced as the winner of the prestigious prize during a virtual celebration from Coventry Cathedral on June 2.
Chosen from a shortlist of six books, it portrays a young man’s descent into madness and tells the little-heard story of the Senegalese who fought for France on the Western Front during the First World War.
This project will culminate in a major event with the winning author and translator during the last week of August in Coventry.
The city will also host the shortlisted author event for the 2021 Booker Prize for Fiction later this year.
Additionally, a translation workshop hosted by one of the shortlisted translators for city-based writers who works in other languages, is planned for the autumn.
Gaby Wood, the director of The Booker Prize Foundation, said: “At Night All Blood is Black is a book about a close friendship and a war that involved the world.
“Between those two extremes lie madness, misunderstanding and the strong pull of a faraway home.”
Coun Dr Kindy Sandhu, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for education and skills, said: “The International Booker is a hugely prestigious and much respected award.
“It has been incredibly rewarding for Coventry Library service to be so involved with the International Booker organisation in 2021 as part of City of Culture.”
Chenine Bhathena, creative director of Coventry UK City of Culture, urged people to pick up a copy and ‘dive into David’s extraordinary writing’.
She added: “As UK City of Peace and reconciliation and home to so many who have fled from violence and destruction, this book is a portrait of one man’s war, but also a book quite unlike anything else, that you will want to read again and again.”
Visit any of the public libraries in the city, Coventry University Library and University of Warwick Library to pick up a copy to keep or to share with friends. All libraries will also have copies available for loan and reading groups are invited to visit a library to pick up copies for their members.