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Fanonby John Edgar Wideman
"In Fanon, as in most fiction by John Edgar Wideman, the wounds are equally personal and historical, equally inside out and outside in, jury-rigged and hardwire." John Leonard, Harper's Magazine (Read the entire Harper's review)
Synopses & Reviews
A philosopher, psychiatrist, and political activist, Frantz Fanon was a fierce, acute critic of racism and oppression. Born of African descent in Martinique in 1925, Fanon fought in defense of France during World War II but later against France in Algeria's war for independence.
His last book, The Wretched of the Earth, published in 1961, inspired leaders of diverse liberation movements: Steve Biko in South Africa, Che Guevara in Latin America, the Black Panthers in the States. Wideman's novel is disguised as the project of a contemporary African American novelist, Thomas, who undertakes writing a life of Fanon. The result is an electrifying mix of perspectives, traveling from Manhattan to Paris to Algeria to Pittsburgh.
Part whodunit, part screenplay, part love story, Fanon introduces the French film director Jean-Luc Godard to the ailing Mrs. Wideman in Homewood and chases the meaning of Fanon's legacy through our violent, post-9/11 world, which seems determined to perpetuate the evils Fanon sought to rectify.
"This is an engrossing search for meaning in life and in the enduring legacy of Fanon at a time when racial animus, sadly, continues unabated." Booklist
"Wideman grounds the novel in powerful chapters set in his native Pittsburgh, specifically the impoverished, gang-ridden streets of Homewood." San Francisco Chronicle
Wideman's fascinating new novel weaves together fiction, biography, and memoir to evoke the life and message of Frantz Fanon, the influential author of The Wretched of the Earth and acute critic of racism and oppression.
About the Author
John Edgar Wideman won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1984 for Sent for You Yesterday and in 1990 for Philadelphia Fire. His second memoir, Fatheralong, was a finalist for the National Book Award. His most recent books are Hoop Roots and The Island: Martinique. He teaches at Brown University.
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