10 Great Works of Fiction for Philosophers

Although he denied his affiliation with the movement, critics are generally inclined to say that Albert Camus was an existentialist. Born 100 years ago today, the author is responsible for Nobel Prize-winning classics like The Stranger and The Fall that sit at the top of the “philosophical fiction” pile.

Philosophical fiction isn’t always the easiest to define unless the author clearly states that there was a philosophical framework guiding the text, thus embedding that philosophy within the plot. It’s more common that writers’ personal politics and ideas get them lumped in with a specific movement, making everything in their bodies of work seem like they carry a message hidden carefully between the lines. So, in honor of the Camus centennial, here are ten works of fiction to satisfy your inner philosopher.

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Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche

If you’re going to compose a list of philosophical novels without including this German philosopher’s novel of the Übermensch, then we regret to inform you that your philosophical fiction list is nein.