by Adam Shatz
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.
Includes 8 pages of black-and-white photographs.
"Shatz's book distinguishes itself by connecting Fanon's thought to the livewire debates facing us in 2024... The themes of self-determination and dignity [Fanon] addressed in his work will be even more pressing for a rising generation of activists and thinkers... They will do well to read Shatz's satisfying biography." -- Tomiwa Owolade, The New Statesman
"[A] thoroughly researched biography... The Rebel's Clinic is a deep meditation on the transformative power and influence of one radical philosophical writer on the continuing fight for justice on many fronts." -- Booklist (starred review)
"The Rebel's Clinic is a triumph, a sweeping work of intellectual history that is also an intimate biography of a remarkable thinker and historical figure. It is beautifully written, deftly constructed, rigorous and illuminating. This is a book that will last and be read for many years." -- Eyal Press, author of Dirty Work
About the Author:
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 the author of Writers and Missionaries: Essays on the Radical Imagination and the host of the podcast Myself with Others. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.