Pushkin orders five-figure reprint of Diop's International Booker winner

Pushkin orders five-figure reprint of Diop's International Booker winner

Pushkin Press has ordered a five-figure reprint of David Diop's novel At Night All Blood is Black, translated by Anna Moschovakis, after it won the International Booker Prize.

Diop's book, which 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, picked up the £50,000 prize on Wednesday (2nd June) in a virtual ceremony.

Pushkin publisher and managing director Adam Freudenheim told The Bookseller the team are "over the moon" with the win. He said: "We’re thrilled that this hugely powerful, moving, poetic book has received the international recognition it deserves.  Enormous congratulations to author David Diop for writing such an unforgettable novel that makes you see the First World War and colonialism in an entirely new light and to translator Anna Moschovakis for her nuanced translation of the book.

"We are of course already reprinting several thousand copies – a five-figure reprint when you take into account local printings in Australia and India – on top of the large number of copies of the new paperback edition only out last month that we already printed on shortlisting. We’re confident this is just the beginning for sales of this book which has all the makings of a future classic.

"Finally, I will just say that this is of course incredibly important for a small independent press like Pushkin and with two books on the shortlist – the other being When We Cease to Understand the World – recognition of our continued focus on translating literary fiction from around the world, one of our main focuses for many years now."

Daniel Seton, the commissioning editor who acquired the book for the publisher, added: "I am enormously proud to be associated with David Diop’s stunning, heartbreaking novel, so skilfully translated by Anna Moschovakis. Hopefully thanks to the International Booker Prize many more English readers will now have the opportunity to discover this blisteringly powerful book."

At Wednesday's virtual ceremony Diop said he was "really extremely happy" to have won the prize. He said: "My first thoughts go to Anna Moschovakis without whom the two of us would not have won this prize because she is a great writer and a great artist. And I would also like to thank Daniel Seton and all the team at Pushkin Press for their unfailing support of my book which has led to this extraordinary award. I would also like to thank my literary agent Magalie Delobelle who facilitated the encounter with Farrar Straus & Giroux and Pushkin Press. I'm very happy and would also like to thank the judges who chose me among so many great writers. So I am at once flattered and I sort of feel as though I am living in a dream — a waking dream."

Moschovakis added: "It's a thrill to be in the company of these writers and translations, their wild and brilliant books and so many small and independent presses. Thank you to the jury, the Booker, to Jeremy Davies, to FSG and Pushkin Press, to my family who taught me that language and culture occur in the plural and such thanks to David Diop for entrusting me with this incredible work."