The Meursault Investigation (Paperback)
June 2015 Indie Next List
“The Meursault Investigation is a complex and subtle reckoning with the legacy of colonialism and the silences it imposes. Although the novel was conceived in the shadow of Camus' The Stranger, readers realize quickly that it haunts those shadows not because it lacks its own light, but because Daoud wants to plumb the depths of that darkness to tell a story that demands to be heard. I hope everyone listens.”
— Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, CA
A New York Times Notable Book of 2015 Michiko Kakutani, The Top Books of 2015, New York Times TIME MagazineTop Ten Books of 2015 Publishers WeeklyBest Books of the Year Financial TimesBest Books of the Year
A tour-de-force reimagining of Camus sThe Stranger, from the point of view of the mute Arab victims. The New Yorker
He was the brother of the Arab killed by the infamous Meursault, the antihero of Camus's classic novel. Seventy years after that event, Harun, who has lived since childhood in the shadow of his sibling's memory, refuses to let him remain anonymous: he gives his brother a story and a name Musa and describes the events that led to Musa's casual murder on a dazzlingly sunny beach.
In a bar in Oran, night after night, he ruminates on his solitude, on his broken heart, on his anger with men desperate for a god, and on his disarray when faced with a country that has so disappointed him. A stranger among his own people, he wants to be granted, finally, the right to die.
The Stranger is of course central to Daoud's story, in which he both endorses and criticizes one of the most famous novels in the world. A worthy complement to its great predecessor, The Meursault Investigation is not only a profound meditation on Arab identity and the disastrous effects of colonialism in Algeria, but also a stunning work of literature in its own right, told in a unique and affecting voice.
About the Author
Kamel Daoud is an Algerian journalist based in Oran, where he writes for the Quotidien d Oran the third largest French-language Algerian newspaper. He contributes a weekly column to Le Point, and his articles have appeared in Liberation, Le Monde, Courrier International, and are regularly reprinted around the world. A finalist for the Prix Goncourt, The Meursault Investigation won the Prix Francois Mauriac and the Prix des Cinq-Continents de la francophonie. International rights to the novel have been sold in twenty countries. A dramatic adaptation of The Meursault Investigation will be performed at the 2015 Festival d Avignon, and a feature film is slated for release in 2017."