André Gide is one of the giants of modern French literature. Fruits of the Earth is one of Gide's most popular works, and it had a strong influence on the early thinking of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. Gide wrote Fruits of the Earth in 1897, while suffering from tuberculosis. It is a hymn-to the pleasures of life that Gide came so close to losing forever: touch, hearing, smell, sight and, more than anything, taste. In this paean to the senses, Gide advocates the rejection of banal preconceptions and moral rules, in order to taste life and the world's joys at their fullest. This exaltation requires not imitation but freedom, and emotional, physical and sexual self-exploration.