The Meursault Investigation
Author: Kamel Daoud
Translator: John Cullen
Original language: French
Published by: Oneworld Publications, 2015
The novel that has taken the international literary world by storm.
He was the brother of ‘the Arab’ killed by the infamous Meursault, the antihero of Camus’s classic novel, The Outsider. Seventy years after that event, Harun, who has lived since childhood in the shadow of his sibling’s memory, resolves to bring his brother out of obscurity by giving him a name – Musa – and a voice, as he describes the events that led to his senseless murder on a dazzlingly sunny beach in Algeria.
In a bar in Oran, night after night, he ruminates on his solitude, on his broken heart, on Musa’s murder, 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.
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.
‘[An] extraordinary novel.’ London Review of Books
‘A scorching debut novel that is sure to become an essential companion to Camus’s masterpiece.’ The Economist
‘[A] stunning debut novel … an intricately layered tale that not only makes us reassess Camus’s novel but also nudges us into a contemplation of Algeria’s history and current religious politics.’ New York Times, Michiko Kakutani
‘Clever … Daoud is in equal measure a thoughtful and provocative writer.’ Times Literary Supplement
‘Daoud’s novel has the magnetism of its forebear, but its themes of voicelessness and vengeance feel utterly present day.’ Vogue
‘This debut novel reaped glowing international reviews, literary honours, and then, suddenly, demands for [Daoud’s] public execution.’ New York Times
Winner of the Goncourt du Premier Roman
Shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt
Winner of the Prix des Cinq Continents
Winner of the Prix François Mauriac