'A splendid achievement...Daoud has an angry and loquacious register...both beguiling and arresting. It's reminiscent of Italo Calvino: magical, labyrinthian, rhetorical and playfully dark'.
The Meursault InvestigationKamel Daoud
Shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt
Winner of the Goncourt du Premier Roman
Winner of the Prix des Cinq Continents
Winner of the Prix François Mauriac
THE NOVEL THAT HAS TAKEN THE INTERNATIONAL LITERARY WORLD BY STORM
He was the brother of ‘the Arab’ killed by the infamous Meursault, the antihero of Camus’s classic novel. Angry at the world and his own unending solitude, he resolves to bring his brother out of obscurity by giving him a name – Musa – and a voice, and by describing the events that led to his senseless murder on a dazzling Algerian beach. A worthy complement to its great predecessor, The Meursault Investigation is not only a profound meditation on Arab identity and the disastrous effects of colonialism in Algeria, but also a stunning work of literature in its own right, told in a unique and affecting voice.
'Daoud has created his own memorable fiction in which he brilliantly exposes the rise of Islamism in Algeria and his nation's failures post-independence.'
'[A] wonderfully entangled novel. Establishing a conversation across time, Daoud not only uses Camus's words to expose the hypocrisy and inherent violence of the French 'civilising mission', but also deploys them in order to convey the cultural, political and social suffocation that is the lot of so many contemporary Algerians. This is a crucial novel for our times'
'Daoud's work stands on its own as it tackles grief, growing up, post-independence Algeria and conservative Islam today...a clever and suspenseful work that is a masterpiece in its own right'.
'A tour-de-force... Daoud has performed a great service for his country: he has taken a western classic and used it to illuminate the Algerian mind'.
'Wholly astonishing...There are no illusions to be found in this wonderfully embittered, beautiful book.'
'An indispensable companion to Camus...superlative writing, beautifully translated...brilliantly metaphorical. For its incandescence, its precision of phrase and description, and its cross-cultural significance, The Meursault Investigation is an instant classic.'
'A dazzling appropriation of L'Etranger'
'An accomplished work of fiction, the anger of Daoud’s hero convinces'
‘There is far more to his book than a clever deconstruction of a canonical novel… suspenseful…its narrative vitality never flags…beautifully taut…Despite the gravity of its concerns, Daoud’s writing maintains a wryness that makes its moments of sharp insight even more arresting. It is a testament to Daoud’s subtle, profound talent that his story works both as a novelistic response to Camus and as a highly original story in its own right. The Meursault Investigation is perhaps the most important novel to emerge out of the Middle East in recent memory’
'An impressive, provocative undertaking...that might not prove easy to put down...the polemic is balanced by artistic ingenuity...A relentlessly adroit blend of fire and clinical precision ensures that Kamel Daoud's iconoclastic deliberation is about far more than a renowned novel by Albert Camus'
‘[An] extraordinary novel.’