L'exil et le Royaume (English: Exile and the Kingdom) is a 1957 book of stories by Albert Camus1.

Instead of starting at the beginning, I first heard the second part2 of the book's fourth story, L'hôte (The Guest), which was read aloud at a public library event a couple of months ago. I really liked it and F liked it even more, it reminded her of her years in Algeria (she lived in Algiers during the better part of the 60s). We borrowed the book, she read it, and now I did too.

L'hôte is actually one out of only two stories set in Algeria. Like others it's about solitude, otherness, with a healthy dose of ethics. Two other stories are set in France, one in Brazil and one in Mali, for a total of six.

My favorites were probably L'hôte and Jonas, ou l'artiste au travail (Jonas or the Artist at Work), and I liked the very last story La pierre qui pousse (The Growing Stone) a bit less (didn't really understand it, I think).

It's difficult to write much more about the book in general since the stories are pretty different. English language Wikipedia has interesting articles (though poor in sources) on each of them.

I just borrowed L'étranger and La peste for long-due (re-)reads.


  1. Camus is of course known for his 1942 L'étranger (The Stranger) and 1947 La peste (The Plague), of which at least one is sure to be part of any given French high school syllabus.

  2. because we arrived late