Albert Camus is among the most significant French writers of the twentieth century. His novels, The Plague and The Outsider, have a timeless power and appeal and are studied all over the world, and his philosophical work has had an enduring influence. Oliver Todd has been authorised by Camus' family to write the definitive life. Opening with his impoverished childhood in Algiers, Todd brings the historical context to life, shedding light on Camus' later agonising conflict between sympathy for the working class Algerians and for the French colonials with a stake in their adopted land. His was a life of impossible choices and perpetual struggle, from his intimacy with the Gallimard family, despite their collaborationist activities, and his involvement in the conflict between Satre and de Beauvoir; to his own battles with debilitating bouts of tuberculosis and the passionate, restless nature that would never let him settle. With an extraordinary grasp of both his subject and his times, Todd brings to this rich, generous biography a rare immediacy and perception, evoking a great writer and his world with memorable force and engaging subtlety.