Franz Kafka. Willy Haas, ed. Tania Stern & James Stern, trans.
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Despite having requested on his deathbed that his remaining writings be destroyed, practically everything penned by Franz Kafka—including such novels as The Metamorphosis and The Trial—has been preserved. In 1920, the ailing Kafka was contacted by 23-year-old translator Milena Jesenská; although they only met twice, the pair conducted an epistolary romance ending only with Kafka's death in 1924. Willy Haas's introduction chronicles this unconventional affair, and recounts Milena's subsequent life.
"In [Kafka's] letters we have a series of self-portraits desperate and courageous, always eager and warm in feeling.... He was a marvelous letter writer."—V.S. Pritchett