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Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors

Written by Franz Kafka
Translated by Richard Winston and Clara Winston


Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors .

Category: Literary Collections - Letters; Biography & Autobiography - Personal Memoirs; Biography & Autobiography - Literary Figures
Imprint: Schocken
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: December 2016
Price: $19.95
Can. Price: $25.95
ISBN: 978-0-8052-0949-5 (0-8052-0949-2)
Pages: 528



 
Collected after his death by his friend and literary executor Max Brod, here are more than two decades’ worth of Franz Kafka’s letters to the men and women with whom he maintained his closest personal relationships, from his years as a student in Prague in the early 1900s to his final months in the sanatorium near Vienna where he died in 1924.

Sometimes surprisingly humorous, sometimes wrenchingly sad, they include charming notes to school friends; fascinating accounts to Brod about his work in its various stages of publication; correspondence with his publisher, Kurt Wolff, about manuscripts in progress, suggested book titles, type design, and late royalty statements; revealing exchanges with other young writers of the day, including Martin Buber and Felix Weltsch, on life, literature, and girls; and heartbreaking reports to his parents, sisters, and friends on the declining state of his health in the last months of his life.

“Kafka’s letters are precious for what they reveal of a literary genius’s insights into the predicaments of the modern artist, as well as for what they tell us of Kafka’s loves, loyalties, fears, guilt, and his floundering attempts to cope with the debilitating disease that blighted half his adult life . . . Fluently and gracefully translated, helpfully annotated with care and admirable concision, [they] afford us an inside view of a writer who, perhaps more than any other novelist or poet in our century, stands at the center of our culture.”
—Robert Alter, The New York Times Book Review

“A series of self-portraits desperate and courageous, always eager and warm in feeling; the self is lit by fantasy and, of course, by drollery. He was a marvelous letter writer.”
—V. S. Pritchett, The New York Review of Books



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 
FRANZ KAFKA was born in Prague in 1883 and died of tuberculosis in a sanatorium near Vienna in 1924. After earning a law degree in 1906, he worked for most of his adult life at the Worker's Accident Insurance Institute in Prague. Only a small portion of Kafka's writings were published during his lifetime. He left instructions for his friend and literary executor Max Brod to destroy all of his unpublished work after his death, instructions Brod famously ignored.





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