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February 8 @ 6:00 pm
discussing his new book
The Rebel’s Clinic: The Revolutionary Lives of Frantz Fanon
published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
A revelatory biography of the writer-activist who inspired today’s movements for social and racial justice
In the era of Black Lives Matter, Frantz Fanon’s shadow looms larger than ever. He was the intellectual activist of the postcolonial era, and his writings about race, revolution, and the psychology of power continue to shape radical movements across the world. In this searching biography, Adam Shatz tells the story of Fanon’s stunning journey, which has all the twists of a Cold War-era thriller. Fanon left his modest home in Martinique to fight in the French Army during World War II; when the war was over, he fell under the influence of Existentialism while studying medicine in Lyon and trying to make sense of his experiences as a Black man in a white city. Fanon went on to practice a novel psychiatry of “dis-alienation” in rural France and Algeria, and then join the Algerian independence struggle, where he became a spokesman, diplomat, and clandestine strategist. He died in 1961, while under the care of the CIA in a Maryland hospital. Today, Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth have become canonical texts of the Black and global radical imagination, comparable to James Baldwin’s essays in their influence. And yet they are little understood. In The Rebel’s Clinic, Shatz offers a dramatic reconstruction of Fanon’s extraordinary life—and a guide to the books that underlie today’s most vital efforts to challenge white supremacy and racial capitalism.
Adam Shatz is the US editor of The London Review of Books and a contributor to The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and other publications. He is also the host of the podcast “Myself with Others”. In 2023 New York Review Books published his collection of essays titled “Writers and Missionaries: Essays on the Radical Imagination.”
This event is made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation. To learn more visit: https://citylights.com/foundation/