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Kafkaesque

Kafkaesque Cover

Kafkaesque

Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka

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

Tachyon Publications, Paperback, 9781616960490, 283pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2011

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Description
The tourist shops of Prague sell dozens of items commemorating Franz Kafka. You can drink a latte in the Cafe Kafka, add sugar to it from a packet with Kafka's face on it, and then light your cigarette from a box of Kafka matches.

Franz Kafka died in obscurity in 1924, publishing only a handful of bizarre stories in little-known literary magazines. Yet today he persists in our collective imaginations. Even those who have never read any of Kafka's fiction describe their tribulations with the Department of Motor Vehicles as being Kafkaesque.

Kafkaesque explores the fiction of generations of authors inspired by Kafka's work. These dystopic, comedic, and ironic tales include T. C. Boyle's roadside garage that is a never-ending trial, Philip Roth's alternate history in which Kafka immigrates to America to date his aunt, Jorge Luis Borges's labyrinthine public lottery that redefines reality, Carol Emshwiller's testimony by the first female to earn the right to call herself a "man," and Paul Di Filippo's unfamiliar Kafka--journalist by day, costumed crime-fighter by night.

Also included is Kafka's classic story "The Hunger Artist," appearing both in a brand-new translation and in an illustrated version by legendary cartoonist R. Crumb (Fritz the Cat). Additionally, each author discusses Kafka's writing, its relevance, its personal influence, and Kafka's 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." —www.SFSite.com (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)
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