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Kafkaesque Cover


Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka

By John Kessel (Editor); James Patrick Kelly (Editor)

Tachyon Publications, Paperback, 9781616960490, 283pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2011


Dystopic and comedic, this anthology explores top fiction from generations of writers and artists who have drawn inspiration from Franz Kafka's writings. The stories in this illuminating collection include Philip Roth's alternate history in which Kafka survived into the 1940s and emigrated to America; Jorge Luis Borges' bizarre lottery that develops into a mystical system; Carol Emshwiller’s woman seeking to be accepted as officially male by a society of men; and Paul Di Filippo's hero who works as a magazine writer by day but is a costumed crime fighter by night. Rounding out the exceptional lineup is R. Crumb's humorous work, "A Hunger Artist" from Kafka for Beginners alongside a new English translation of the story itself. Each author also responds to the question Why Kafka? and discusses his writing, its relevance and relation to their own work, and his enduring legacy.

About the Author
James Patrick Kelly is the Hugo, Nebula, and Italia award-winning author of "Burn," "Think Like a Dinosaur," and "Wildlife." He is a member of the faculty of the Stonecoast Creative Writing MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. He has co-edited a series of anthologies with John Kessel, described by the "Encyclopedia of Science Fiction" as "each surveying with balance and care a potentially disputed territory within the field." Kelly is the technology columnist for "Asimov's Science Fiction" magazine and the publisher of the e-book 'zine "Strangeways."

John Kessel is a Nebula, Sturgeon, and Locus award winner and the author of "Corrupting Dr. Nice," "Good News From Outer Space," and "The Pure Product." He teaches courses in science-fiction, fantasy, and fiction writing at North Carolina State University. His criticism has appeared in "Foundation," the "Los Angeles Times Book Review," the "New York Review of Science Fiction," and "Science Fiction Age."

Praise For Kafkaesque

"All I really want to do, at the moment, is embrace the unsuspecting editors in a massive, spine-crunching bear hug."  Los Angeles Times on The Secret History of Science Fiction

"Oh, these stories! . . . Don't stop until all have been read."  Booklist on Feeling Very Strange

"Leave it to Tachyon, one of the most exhilarating and intellectually probing small presses, to put out a book like this."  Time Out Chicago on Feeling Very Strange

"Grade: A" —Sci Fi Magazine (December 1, 2011)

"[An] eclectic, mind-blowing collection." Publishers Weekly (October 17, 2011)

"A surpassingly excellent anthology in its own right. An ideal introduction as the stories capture the strangeness, wonder, despair and humour which Kafka's work exemplifies." — (January 2012)

"All of the works collected in Kafkaesque prove both edifying and entertaining. . . . A fine, intelligent, and exquisitely bizarre collection of fiction." New York Journal of Books  (August 2011)

"A delight to read. . . . The extremely varied and entertaining stories [Kafkaesque] contains help clarify Kafka's literary legacy." Czechposition (October 2011)