Best of all is her commentary on Camus, which also comes closest to fulfilling the title. Messud’s father’s family, like Camus, were pieds noirs — French citizens living in colonial territories. It’s a background that makes her beautifully attuned to the tangle of loyalties in Camus. In her hands, it is obvious that to call him simply a ‘French author’ is to blot out his essential Algerian-ness, and both her family’s story and Camus’s writing are enriched by the contact. A whole book of that — a true autobiography through essays — would be a deep pleasure to read.