Arguably the best work of fiction about a disease nemesis ever written, The Plague describes a fictional outbreak of bubonic plague in the French Algerian city of Oran shortly after World War II. It is a story of a pestilence in a modern European city on the African continent with telephones, cars, and other postwar technologies. Colonial France conquered Algeria in 1830 and ruled it until 1962. Camus was born there to French pieds-noir (“black feet”) parents—citizens who lived in Algeria before independence—in the small coastal town of Dréan (then Mondovi), near the Tunisian border. He studied philosophy at the University of Algiers and joined the French Resistance when the Nazis invaded France in 1940, working primarily as editor-in-chief of the outlawed newspaper Combat. He was an existentialist philosopher as well as an author of fiction, and his novel The Stranger enjoyed a decades-long run as required reading for university students.