Clive Stafford Smith

The Far Side of the Moon

Festival Marquee
Sat 24 Sep
12:00 UK

One of our leading campaigners for justice, human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith talks about his extraordinary family memoir. Stafford Smith has spent a lifetime getting to know his clients, from detainees in Guantanamo Bay to prisoners facing execution but for decades, closer to home, there was a man whose mind remained off limits: his father. Only after Dick's death, when Clive inherited more than 3,000 letters, could he start to piece together the obsessive personality behind them. 

In The Far Side of the Moon, he reflects on his father's fragmented life alongside that of Larry Lonchar, a Death Row client who also struggled with severe depression. The result is an indictment of our failing social care and justice systems, a meditation on privilege and its lack, and an intimate exploration of how mental illness can shape a life and a family. 

About the Author

Clive Stafford Smith co-founded the human rights organisation Reprieve with Paul Hamann in 1999, following their work on the 1987 BBC documentary Fourteen Days in May. His book Bad Men details the campaign to protect the rights of Guantanamo Bay inmates and others held in secret prisons across the world, while Injustice describes the flaws in the US death penalty process. Both were shortlisted for the Orwell Prize. In 2000 he received an OBE for humanitarian services. 

Copies of Clive Stafford Smith's book The Far Side of the Moon can be found here.