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Cover of: Albert Camus | Olivier Todd
About the Book

In this enormously engaging, vibrant, and richly researched biography of Albert Camus, the French writer and journalist Olivier Todd has drawn on personal correspondence, notebooks, and public records never before tapped, as well as interviews with Camus's family, friends, fellow workers, writers, mentors, and lovers. Todd shows us a Camus who struggled all his life with irreconcilable conflicts -- between his loyalty to family and his passionate nature, between the call to political action and the integrity to his art, between his support of the native Algerians and his identification with the forgotten people, the poor whites. A very private man, Camus could be charming and prickly, sincere and theatrical, genuinely humble, yet full of great ambition. Todd paints a vivid picture of the time and place that shaped Camus -- his impoverished childhood in the Algerian city of Belcourt, the sea and the sun and the hot sands that he so loved (he would always feel an exile elsewhere), and the educational system that nurtured him. We see the forces that lured him into communism, and his attraction to the theater and to journalism as outlets for his creativity. The Paris that Camus was inevitably drawn to is one that Todd knows intimately, and he brings alive the war years, the underground activities that Camus was caught up in during the Occupation and the bitter postwar period, as well as the intrigues of the French literati who embraced Camus after his first novel, L'Etranger, was published. Todd is also keenly attuned to the French intellectual climate, and as he takes Camus's measure as a successful novelist, journalist, playwright and director, literary editor, philosopher, he also reveals the temperament in the writer that increasingly isolated him and crippled his reputation in the years before his death and for a long time after. He shows us the solitary man behind the mask -- debilitated by continuing bouts of tuberculosis, constantly drawn to irresistible women, and deeply troubled by his political conflicts with the reigning French intellectuals, particularly by the vitriol of his former friend Sartre over the Algerian conflict. Filled with sharp observations and sparkling with telling details, here is a wonderfully human portrait of the Nobel Prize-winning writer, who died at the age of 46 and who remains one of the most influential literary figures of our time. - Jacket flap.

Excerpts

On September 22, 1913, on the Saint-Paul Farm outside the town of Mondovi in Algeria, Lucien Auguste Camus wrote to his employer, "The grape harvest at Saint-Paul ended this morning at 10 a.m."
added anonymously.

8 editions First published in 1996

Edition Read Locate Buy
Cover of: Albert Camus
Albert Camus: Una Vida
January 2002, TusQuets
Paperback in Spanish
Cover of: Albert Camus
Albert Camus: Une Vie
April 2002, Distribooks
Mass Market Paperback in French
Cover of: Albert Camus
Albert Camus: A Life
February 17, 2000, Carroll & Graf
Paperback in English - 1st Carroll & Graf Ed edition
Cover of: Albert Camus
Albert Camus: une vie
1999, Gallimard
in French - Ed. revue et corrigée.
Cover of: Albert Camus
Albert Camus: a life
1998, Vintage
in English
Cover of: Albert Camus
Albert Camus: a life
1997, Chatto & Windus
in English
Cover of: Albert Camus
Albert Camus: a life
1997, Alfred A. Knopf
Hardcover in English - 1st American ed.
Cover of: Albert Camus
Albert Camus: une vie
1996, Gallimard
in French

History

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May 14, 2019 Edited by Clean Up Bot import existing book
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June 17, 2014 Edited by Bryan Tyson Edited without comment.
December 3, 2010 Edited by Open Library Bot Added subjects from MARC records.
December 9, 2009 Created by WorkBot add works page