Albert CamusAlbert Camus 1913-1960

Algerian-French novelist, essayist, and playwright. Born into a working-class family, Camus graduated from the university in Algiers and then worked with a theatrical company, becoming associated with leftist causes. He spent the war years in Paris, and the French Resistance brought him into the circle of Jean-Paul Sartre and existentialism. He became a leading literary figure with his enigmatic first novel, The Stranger (1942), a study of 20th-century alienation, and the philosophical essay The Myth of Sisyphus (1942), an analysis of contemporary nihilism and the concept of the absurd. The Plague (1947), his allegorical second novel, and The Rebel (1951), another long essay, developed related issues. Other major works include the short-story collection Exile and the Kingdom (1957) and the posthumous autobiographical novel The First Man (1994). His plays include Le Malentendu (1944) and Caligula (1944). Camus won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. He died in a car accident.

Courtesy of Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 2003.