Human Conditions: ‘Black Skin, White Masks’ by Frantz Fanon

Judith Butler and Adam Shatz

Begun as a psychiatric dissertation, Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks (1952) became a genre-shattering study of antiblack racism and its effect on the psyche. At turns expressionistic, confessional, clinical, sharply satirical and politically charged, the book is dazzlingly multivocal, sometimes self-contradictory but always compelling. Judith Butler and Adam Shatz, whose biography of Fanon was released in January, chart a course through some of the most explosive and elusive chapters of the book, and show why Fanon is still essential reading.

This is an extract from the episode. To listen in full, and to all our other Close Readings series, sign up:

Directly in Apple Podcasts:

In other podcast

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences