Albert Cossery

Albert Cossery (Arabic ألبرت قيصري ) (born 3 November 1913 in Cairo, † 22 June 2008 ) was an Egyptian francophone writers.


Cossery Albert was born in 1913 as the son of a middle-class, derived from Damietta Coptic family. As was the custom in wealthy families, he was sent to a Christian school French. The age of ten, he worked on French literature and began to write novels and poems.

Henry Miller, whom he met during a trip to the U.S., enabled him in 1940 to publish a first collection of short stories (Les hommes oubliés de Dieu, Eng. Men God forgot ). In 1945 he moved to Paris, where he lived in a room at the Hotel La Louisiane on Rue de Seine until his death in 2008.


All novels Albert Cosserys play in Egypt. His books are full of irony, but never cynical. You make fun of the vanity and narrowness of a materialist world and portray the contrast between poverty and wealth, the powerful and the powerless, in a witty and dramatic way.

His main characters are often vagrants, thieves or dandies, subvert the order of an unjust society. They are often autobiographical as Teymour, the hero of the novel Un complot de saltimbanques, a young man who falsifies after a pleasure instead of studies devoted to life abroad a degree in chemical engineering and returns to his hometown, where he along with his Dandy- friends fall into an unexpected intrigue against the authorities.

Cossery was estimated by some due to his humorous and provocative, at the same time clear and deep view of the relationships between people and society as a free thinker, as the last genuinely anarchist writers of Western culture. His writing style was followed by neither academic rules nor the standards of the avant-garde.


Two of his novels (Les Couleurs de l' infamie and Mendiants et orgueilleux ) were adapted from Golo as comics.



  • Les Couleurs de l' infamie
  • Une Ambition dans le Désert
  • La Violence et la dérision, dt violence and laughter, Dusseldorf: Smoke, 1966; NA Berlin: Schelzky and Jeep, 1984 and 2000
  • Les Hommes de Dieu oubliés
  • La Maison de la mort certaine
  • Les Couleurs de l' infamie
  • Les Fénéants dans la vallée fertile
  • Mendiants et orgueilleux, dt Gohar of beggars. Novel, Munich and Vienna: Hanser, 1996, in paperback: Frankfurt am Main: Fischer -Taschenbuch - Verlag, 1998
  • Un complot de saltimbanques
  • Albert Cossery, an Egyptian in Paris. Essays, Munich and Vienna: Hanser, 1995