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An Albert Camus Biography: Camus, A Romance

Updated on August 16, 2010

On Camus, A Romance

Sometimes I have trouble putting into words what exactly makes France so special to many of us. Today, I found a description in a book that’s out in paperback: Camus, A Romance. In this Albert Camus biography, the author Elizabeth Hawes describes her personal history with the subject; and in doing so, captures ours as well.

She said of her time in Grenoble, France as a student, “Women walked arm in arm; men wore strange shoes. Bread came in many shapes, milk cartons were triangular, everyone carried a panier or else a string bag. In everything that was different—square lined school notebooks, steel-rimmed eyeglasses, handshakes at greeting and parting, 367 kinds of cheese—I found the essence of the French identity.”

At first she was disappointed not to be in the big city of Paris, ending up instead in the French countryside. But she soon realized how wonderful it was to be out in the provinces where there is the time, and space to experience the simple pleasures, and routines of life in France.

Albert Camus' Life

France, a state in Western Europe, is where Albert Camus was born. But to be more specific, he was born in French Algeria to a mother who was half-deaf; and to a father who was a poor agricultural worker. He did not live a wealthy life, but he did try to make the most out of what he could.

But before his death, Camus was able to go to the University of Algiers; and have also developed an interest for football. He became the goalkeeper for his school’s team but needed to quit soon after, due to contracting the tuberculosis disease. Left with no other choice but to study, and to work on the side, he managed to finish his degree in French Philosophy.

During his life, he was able to write a number of books. Amongst the books by Camus, the Plague, the Rebel, the Stranger, the First Man, are some of the most well-known.

Camus was recognized as the French Algerian author, philosopher, and journalist. And in 1957, he received a Nobel Prize for Literature, making him the second youngest recipient for this prestigious award. Albert Camus death took place (from a car accident) two years after.

Elizabeth Hawes

Elizabeth Hawes, author of Camus, A Romance, has found herself through writing the memoirs of Camus: A great undertaking by a woman who believes that Camus has simply weaved his own life into all of his literary creations.


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