These letters, written by Kafka to his one-time lover Milena, document an extraordinary relationship and offer unusual insight into Kafka's private world, revealing another side of the legendary literary genius.
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was born into a Jewish family in Prague. In 1906 he received a doctorate in jurisprudence, and for many years he worked a tedious job as a civil service lawyer investigating claims at the state Worker's Accident Insurance Institute. He never married, and published only a few slim volumes of stories during his lifetime. Meditation, a collection of sketches, appeared in 1912; The Stoker: A Fragment in 1913; The Metamorphosis in 1915; The Judgement in 1916; In the Penal Colony in 1919; and A Country Doctor in 1920. Only a few of his friends knew that Kafka was also at work on the great novels that were published after his death from tuberculosis: America, The Trial, and The Castle.
"In his letters we have a series of self-portraits desperate and
courageous, always eager and warm in feeling and, of course, by
drollery. His candour is of the kind that flies alongside him in
the air. He was a marvellous letter writer" -- V.S. Pritchett
"Fascinating reading... [a] part of his oeuvre" * Independent *