Author: Albert Camus
Dates: 7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960
Title of Book: The Stranger
The old people’s home is at Marengo, about eighty kilometres from Algiers, I’ll take the two o’clock bus and get there in the afternoon. That I can be there for the vigil and come back tomorrow night. I asked my boss for two days off and there was no way he was going to refuse me with an excuse like that. But he wasn’t too happy about it. I even said “It’s not my fault.” He didn’t say anything. Then I thought I shouldn’t have said that. After all, I didn’t have anything to apologize for. He’s the one who should have offered his condolences. But he probably will day after tomorrow, when he sees I’m in mourning. For now, it’s almost as if Maman weren’t dead. After the funeral, though, the case will be closed, and everything will have a more official feel to it.
I caught the two o’clock bus. It was very hot. I ate at the restaurant, at Céleste’s, as usual. Everybody felt very sorry for me, and Céleste said, “You only have one mother.” When I left, they walked me to the door. I was a little distracted because I still had to go up to Emmanuel’s place to borrow a black tie and an arm band. He lost his uncle a few months back.
I ran so as not to miss the bus. It was probably because of all the rushing around, and on top of that the bumpy ride, the smell of gasoline, and the glare of the sky and the road, that I dozed off. I slept almost the whole way. And when I woke up, I was slumped against a soldier who smiled at me and asked if I had been travelling long. I said, “Yes,” just so I wouldn’t have to say anything else.
Brief Biography: Camus was an author, journalist and philosopher. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.