The Meursault Investigation
By Kamel Daoud (Algeria)
Translated from the French by John Cullen
Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation is a powerful reimagining of the story of Albert Camus’s The Stranger—or, rather, a writing-back that imagines not only the death but also the life of the unnamed “Arab” shot and killed on an Algerian beach in Camus’s novel. Daoud gives Meursault’s victim a name, Musa, as well as a family: a mother to mourn him and a younger brother intent on rescuing his revered elder brother from the obscurity of a false fame by telling his own version of his brother’s death, life, people, and land. John Cullen’s translation is lively, colloquial, conversational, and beautifully crafted.