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Albert Camus's Biography

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Albert Camus was born in 1913 in Mondovi, Algeria.

His father was killed in 1914 during the First World War and his mother was illiterate and earned a living cleaning houses.

Not only did Albert Camus grow up in relative poverty, but he also suffered from poor health. When 17, Camus suffered his first attack of tuberculosis.

Albert Camus proved a brilliant student and, in 1936, he gained a Diplome d'Etudes Superieures (equivalent to an M.A.) in Christian philosophy.

From 1935 to 1937, Albert Camus was a member of the Communist Party, but he split from them when they failed to support the movement for Arab rights. Camus, however, was not a supporter of Algerian independence.

Overlapping that period was his brief marriage to Simone Hie (1934-36). Camus tried to help her battle against her drug addiction, but in the end they split up.

In 1938, Albert Camus became a reporter for a left-wing newspaper, Alger Republicain, and became editor of the evening sister title Soir Republicain.

By this time, Camus had also started writing plays. His Revolt in Asturia (1936) was banned by the Algiers government. He began work on Caligula and also various essays and he completed his first novel, A Happy Death , which was not published until after his death.

When World War II broke out, Soir Republicain was banned and Albert Camus moved to France.

In 1942, the acclaimed L'etranger was published.

Camus described it as "the study of an absurd man in an absurd world." The book, sometimes translated as 'The Stranger' and sometimes as 'The Outsider', begins with the words: "Aujourd'hui, maman est morte. Ou peut-etre hier, je ne sais pas."

Camus joined the French Resistance and wrote for their paper Combat.

After the war he completed his second novel La Peste (The Plague, 1947). Other works followed, the play The Just (1950) and the essay, The Rebel (1952), which caused a controversy and the distancing of former friends like Sartre, who regarded Camus as too idealistic and not practical enough.

During the Cold War, Albert Camus although sympathetic to 'the working classes' did not hold truck with communism.

In 1956 he published The Fall, and the following year was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In January 1960, Albert Camus was killed in a car accident.

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