BIOGRAPHY

Disturbance: Surviving Charlie Hebdo

Europa. Nov. 2019. 448p. ISBN 9781609455569. $28. BIOG
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In 2015, two militant Islamist brothers attacked the offices of the Paris satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and killed 11 of Lançon’s colleagues. Lançon, himself injured during the attack, spends a good portion of the book describing his difficult physical and emotional recovery after the surgeries needed to repair his fractured face. (Surgeons removed his fibula to help reconstruct his features.) Lançon became close to his surgeon, the nurses who are for him, and even the policemen who watched over him in the hospital. The book is an intimate portrait of Lançon’s struggle to maintain normalcy after the attack. While his body heals, he admits finding himself afraid to be near Arabs on public transport. He also discusses his intimate love of literature, and shares how some of his favorite works helped him learn to live and trust again.
VERDICT Readers will learn details about the Charlie Hebdo attack that only Lançon can provide, and will empathize with Lançon’s slow, pained road to recovery while he summons the strength to share his most intimate fears with the world. Highly recommended for all audiences.

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