Book Store

Is That Kafka? 99 Finds [Paperback]

Is That Kafka? 99 Finds [Paperback]

By Reiner Stach
Translated from the German by Kurt Beals

"Reiner Stach has curated a collection of artifacts from the author’s life in his latest book, Is that Kafka? 99 Finds. The book, translated from the German by Kurt Beals, is a crowd-pleasing encore to Stach’s monumental three-volume biography of the writer. Along with minimal commentary, he submits ninety-nine numbered exhibition items—documents, photographs, objects, scribbles, and doodles—for our consideration. The result is a box of fancy Austro-Hungarian chocolates…"—Avi Steinberg, The New Yorker

"Lucidly translated from the German by Kurt Beals, ingeniously designed, illustrated with photographs of Kafka and the people he knew, of places he visited and art he admired, and with facsimiles of newspaper articles, manuscripts, notes, and letters, Is That Kafka? is a handsome volume."—Francine Prose, New York Review of Books

In the course of compiling his highly acclaimed, three-volume life of Kafka, Reiner Stach made one astounding discovery after another: original writings, unexpected photographs, inconsistencies in handwritten texts, surprising excerpts from letters, and testimonies from Kafka’s contemporaries that shed surprising light on his personality and his writing.

Is that Kafka? presents tasty morsels all about the real Kafka: he couldn’t lie, but he cheated on his high-school exams; bitten by the fitness fad, he avidly followed the regime of a Danish exercise guru; he drew beautifully; he loved beer; he read biographies voraciously; he made the most beautiful presents, especially to children; odd things made him cry or made him furious; he adored slapstick. Every discovery by Stach chips away at the stereotypical version of Kafka as the dark, sexless, tortured neurotic—and laughter, of all things, becomes the keynote.

313 Pages
New Directions Publishing, 2017
5 x 0.9 x 7.7 inches
ISBN 9780811225168

$16.95 $16.95