The PEN/Hemingway Award– and Prix Médicis–winning author of Wartime Lies and About Schmidt here offers a biography of Western literature's most iconic writer. The very term "Kafkaesque" evokes tortuous bureaucracy, crushing self-doubt, and an almost unbearable inadequacy in the face of higher powers. In the few novels and short stories he left behind, he distilled the horrors of the new age in the voice of the outsider. Louis Begley's discussion of Kafka's masterpiece The Trial, along with shorter works such as "The Metamorphosis," opens a window on one of the most intriguing figures of the modern period.
"Although numerous biographers have guided readers on a journey through Kafka's labyrinthine life and writings, celebrated novelist Begley cannily allows Kafka to speak in his own words as much as possible, weaving selections from letters, journals, novels and stories into a biographical narrative."—Publishers Weekly