The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Stranger is a 1942 philosophical novel by Albert Camus, originally published in French under the title L’Étranger. Camus once summarized his novel with the bleak tagline: “In our society, any man who does not weep at his mother’s funeral runs the risk of being sentenced to death.”

Although the novel has been described as the exemplary existentialist novel, Camus rejected the label. Camus, who preferred not to be called a philosopher, identified more strongly with absurdism, a philosophy based on the disharmony between man’s search for meaning and the lack of meaning in the universe. He outlined this in his essay The Myth of Sisyphus, which was published the same year as The Stranger.

The Stranger by Albert Camus

This edition of The Stranger, which was translated from French by Stuart Gilbert, was published by Vintage Books in 1972. The cover’s wraparound arthouse photo doesn’t have much to do with the novel, but that wasn’t unusual for books published during this era. Photos were often selected because they were striking, not because they had a connection to a book’s narrative.

The cover uses the ITC Serif Gothic, a popular 70s font that was also used to advertise Star Wars.

There are, of course, several different covers for The Stranger, as it’s been reprinted many, many times. Below is a modern yet already iconic cover, which was designed by Helen Yentus.

The Stranger by Albert Camus