Author(s): Franz Kafka
Kafka began writing what he had entitled Der Verschollene (The Missing Person) in 1912 and wrote the last completed chapter in 1914. But it wasn t until 1927, three years after his death, that Max Brod, Kafka s friend and literary executor, edited the unfinished manuscript and published it as Amerika. Kafka s first and funniest novel, Amerika tells the story of the young Karl Rossmann who, after an incident involving a housemaid, is banished by his parents to America. Expected to redeem himself in this magical land of opportunity, young Karl is swept up instead in a whirlwind of dizzying reversals, strange escapades, and picaresque adventures."
Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, where he lived most of his life. During his lifetime, he published only a few short stories, including The Metamorphosis, The Judgment, and The Stoker. He died in 1924, before completing any of his full-length novels. At the end of his life, Kafka asked his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn all his unpublished work. Brod overrode those wishes. Mark Harman, a native of Dublin who has written extensively about modern German and Irish literature, is a professor of German and English at Elizabeth College in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. His translation of The Castle received the Modern Language Association's first Lois Roth Award in 1998."