The novel takes Jacques Cormery from birth to his years in the lycée, or secondary school, in Algiers. In a departure from the intellectual and philosophical weight of his earlier works, Camus wanted this novel to be “heavy with things and flesh.” It is a novel of basic and essential things: childhood, schooldays, the life of the body, the power of the sun and the sea, the painful love of a son for his mother, the search for a lost father. But it is also about the history of a colonial people in a vast and not always hospitable African landscape, about the complex relationship of a “mother” country to its colonists, and about the intimate effects of war as well as political revolution.


The First Man (French: Le Premier homme) is Albert Camus’ unfinished final novel. On January 4, 1960, at the age of forty-six, Camus died in a car accident. The incomplete manuscript of The First Man, the autobiographical novel Camus was working on at the time of his death, was found in the mud at the accident site. Camus’ daughter, Catherine Camus, later transcribed the handwritten manuscript to type press, and published the book in 1994.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: (Could Not Find Any)

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