Camus, a Romance

Hawes, Elizabeth. Camus, a Romance. New york: Grove Press, 2009.

I think what makes this biography so likeable is that Hawes includes her own memoir at the same time. The reader not only gets a portrait of one of the most influential writers of all time but Hawes displays her own life as well. Or at least she displays her obsession with Camus.
Small complaint. The photography Hawes chose to include of Albert Camus are tiny and interspersed in the text unlike other biographies where the photos are grouped together in large, glossy pages. I don’t know if Hawes didn’t receive permission to enlarge the photographs or what. The small photographs seem stingy for some reason; especially since Hawes admits that in reading Camus’s journal she finds him faceless and unknown. It is in photographs that she is able to tease out the intimacies of his spirit. The reader is not privy to most of the images she describes.
As an aside, a friend brought me three other Camus biographies just so I could see the photos. They were wonderful! It was especially nice to see the ones Hawes described in detail.

Line I heard throughout the book, “I was like an author who had fallen in love with one of his characters” (p 98).

Reason read: Albert Camus was born in October. I would have liked more Camus biographies on my list but this is the only one.

Author fact: I should call this “author rumor” because it’s not fact. In my opinion Hawes is obsessed with Camus. It’s as if, in this book, she is stalking his ghost.

Book trivia: No index.

BookLust Twist: From Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “North African Notes: Algeria” (p 159).



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