Looking for The Stranger

Looking for The Stranger

Albert Camus and the Life of A Literary Classic

Book - 2016
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"A National Book Award-finalist biographer tells the story of how a young man in his 20s who had never written a novel turned out a masterpiece that still grips readers more than 70 years later and is considered a rite of passage for readers around the world,"--NoveList.
Since its publication in France in 1942, Camus's novel has been translated into sixty languages and sold more than six million copies. If the twentieth century produced a novel that could be called ubiquitous, The Stranger is it. How did a young man in his twenties who had never written a novel turn out a masterpiece that still grips readers more than seventy years later? Here, Alice Kaplan tells that story. In the process, she reveals Camus's achievement to have been even more impressive--and more unlikely--than even his most devoted readers knew. Born in poverty in colonial Algeria, Camus started out as a journalist covering the criminal courts. The murder trials he attended, Kaplan shows, would be a major influence on the development and themes of The Stranger. She follows Camus to France, and, making deft use of his diaries and letters, re-creates his lonely struggle with the novel in Montmartre, where he finally hit upon the unforgettable first-person voice that enabled him to break through and complete The Stranger. Even then, the book's publication was far from certain. France was straining under German occupation, and Camus himself was seriously ill with tuberculosis. Yet the book did appear, thanks in part to a resourceful publisher, Gaston Gallimard, who was undeterred by paper shortages and Nazi censorship. It wasn't until after liberation that The Stranger began its meteoric rise. As France and the rest of the world began to move out of the shadow of war, Camus's book became a critical and commercial success, and Camus found himself one of the most famous writers in the world. Suddenly, his seemingly modest tale of alienation was being seen for what it really was: a powerful parable of the absurd, an existentialist masterpiece. Few books inspire devotion and excitement the way The Stranger does, and it couldn't have a better biographer than Alice Kaplan.--Adapted from dust jacket.
Publisher: Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, [2016]
ISBN: 9780226241678
022624167X
Characteristics: 289 pages : maps ; 24 cm

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