At Night All Blood Is Black Wins International Booker Prize, New Directions Celebrates Eighty-Five Years, and More

by Staff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

David Diop’s At Night All Blood Is Black, translated from the French by Anna Moschovakis, has won this year’s International Booker Prize. Chair of the judges Lucy Hughes-Hallett describes the novel, which concerns the experience of a Senegalese soldier fighting for the French army during World War I, as “frightening.” She says, “You feel like you’re being hypnotized.” The prize comes with a purse of £50,000, which is split between the author and translator. (New York Times)

New Directions is celebrating its eighty-fifth anniversary and plans to hold three special events to mark the occasion throughout the year. The first event is scheduled to take place online tonight at 9 PM EDT. Hosted by City Lights Booksellers & Publishers in San Francisco, the program will feature Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Forrest Gander, and Nathaniel Mackey, among several other poets. (Publishers Weekly)

In celebration of Pride Month, the staff at Kundiman has curated a list of LGBTQIA+ Asian American books, including Ace by Angela Chen and Bite Hard by Justin Chin. “Celebrating Asian American voices means celebrating LGBTQIA+ voices.” 

“I often commit these crazy bodily acts like making myself sick because that’s when I get the writing done. Those hours come at quite a cost.” Kate Zambreno reflects on the urgency that fueled her latest book, To Write as If Already Dead. (Los Angeles Times)

“While treating pain with an illicit substance can bring relief and pleasure, I also wanted to include the tedium, stress, guilt, deception.” Karen Tucker discusses rendering the experience of opioid addiction in her debut novel, Bewilderness. (Chicago Review of Books)

“There was no stage, which meant the lines between performers, play, and audience weren’t static or preestablished but left to us to draw.” José Orduña writes about attending an unconventional and intimate theatrical performance in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, in which the actors transported audience members to various spaces across the city. (Believer)

Margaret Atwood will publish a new essay collection, Burning Questions: Essays 2004–2021, with Doubleday in March next year. (Publishers Weekly)

The Millions highlights more than twenty new and forthcoming books, including Walking on Cowrie Shells by Nana Nkweti and All the Water I’ve Seen Is Running by Elias Rodriques.