11 April, 2015
Stranger Still - NYTimes.com
Stranger Still - NYTimes.com: The more I read Daoud, the more I sensed he was driven not by self-hatred but by disappointed love. Here was a writer in his early 40s, a man my age, who believed that people in Algeria and the wider Muslim world deserved a great deal better than military rule or Islamism, the two-entree menu they had been offered since the end of colonialism, and who said so with force and brio. Nothing, however, prepared me for his first novel, “The Meursault Investigation,” a thrilling retelling of Albert Camus’s 1942 classic, “The Stranger,” from the perspective of the brother of the Arab killed by Meursault, Camus’s antihero. The novel, which was first published in Algeria in 2013, and which will be published in English by Other Press in June, not only breathes new life into “The Stranger”; it also offers a bracing critique of postcolonial Algeria — a new country that Camus, a poor Frenchman born in Algiers, did not live to see.