The Stranger by Albert Camus
The Stranger is a 1942 novella by French author Albert Camus. Its theme and outlook are often cited as examples of absurdism, coupled with existentialism. The title character is Meursault, an indifferent French settler in Algeria described as “a citizen of France domiciled in North Africa, a man of the Mediterranean, an homme du midi yet one who hardly partakes of the traditional Mediterranean culture.” Weeks after his mother’s funeral, he kills an Arab man in French Algiers, who was involved in a conflict with one of Meursault’s neighbors. Meursault is tried and sentenced to death. The story is divided into two parts, presenting Meursault’s first-person narrative view before and after the murder, respectively.
“In our society any man who does not weep at his mother’s funeral runs the risk of being sentenced to death.” – Albert Camus