Skip to main content

The Meursault Investigation

Kamel 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


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.

  • Publication date: June 24, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781780748399
  • RRP: £8.99
  • Pages: 160
  • Publication date: June 24, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781780748405
  • RRP: £4.99
  • Pages: 160


'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 Tablet

 '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.'

Huffington Post

'[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'

Literary Review

 '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'.

The Times (Saturday Review)

'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'.

The Sunday Times (Culture)

'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'

London Review of Books

'An accomplished work of fiction, the anger of Daoud’s hero convinces'


'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'

Irish Times

‘[An] extraordinary novel.’ 

London Review of Books

‘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’


Kamel Daoud

Kamel Daoud is an Algerian journalist based in Oran, where he writes for the Quotidien d’Oran – the third largest French-language Algerian newspaper. He contributes a weekly column to Le Point, and his articles have appeared in LibérationLe MondeCourrier International, and are regularly reprinted around the world. International rights to the novel have been sold in twenty countries.

Author page

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletters to find out more about our latest books and offers, straight to your inbox.
Select mailing lists