In this witty and informative biography Hawes explores how we often find our own identities in the biographies of people who are significant to us. She reveals how, in writing the life story of Camus, she came to find her own identity. She also peels away the layers of meaning in the characters in Camus' novels and looks at their significance to the author and their roots in his life.
Recently, a friend sent me this photo of the Camus gravesite in Provence, which is one of the best I have seen. It reminded me of all the ceremonies and rethinking that marked the 50th anniversary of Camus's death in 2010, including in his native land, Algeria, where there is now an elaborate 5 to 11-day English-speaking Albert Camus tour. It takes a traveler around Algiers -- his childhood quarter of Belcourt, the lycée, casbah, mosques and the Roman ruins at nearby Tipasa -- and then on to Oran, setting of The Plague, his apartment, the seafront, cafes and museums, and then Drean, formerly Mondovi, his birthplace, and the family home, with visits to sites commemorating St. Augustine too. Also on the circuit are significant scenes from Camus's other novels The Stranger and The First Man, a truly intriguing and ambitious tribute to an enduring literary hero.
5 star reviews from Jon Maksik and Ethan Cooper.