Born: 3 July 1883
Died: 3 June 1924 (tuberculosis)
Birthplace: Prague, Bohemia (Czechoslovakia)
Best known as: Author of The Trial and The Metamorphosis
Franz Kafka was a writer famous for stories of bewildered individuals betrayed by an irrational and pointless society. The son of German-Jewish parents, he was raised in Prague, where he earned a law degree and worked for an insurance firm while writing mostly short fiction on the side. He began publishing stories in 1907, but what are now considered his major works appeared posthumously. Kafka left instructions after his death that his writings should be destroyed. His friend, author Max Brod, instead edited and published his writings in the 1930s, including The Trial, The Castle and The Metamorphosis. Kafka's work, with its themes of alienation from society and a general anxiety over just being alive, influenced European intellectuals and is considered representative of existential literature from the period between World War I and World War II.
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