Amerika

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1996 - Fiction - 299 pages
9 Reviews
Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir
Foreword by E. L. Doctorow
Afterword by Max Brod
 
Kafka's first and funniest novel, Amerika tells the story of the young immigrant Karl Rossmann who, after an embarrassing sexual misadventure, finds himself "packed off to America" by his parents.  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.
 
Although Kafka never visited America, images of its vast landscape, dangers, and opportunities inspired this saga of the "golden land." Here is a startlingly modern, fantastic and visionary tale of America "as a place no one has yet seen, in a historical period that can't be identified," writes E. L. Doctorow in his new foreword. "Kafka made his novel from his own mind's mythic elements," Doctorow explains, "and the research data that caught his eye were bent like rays in a field of gravity."

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hovercraftofeels - LibraryThing

Taken for what it is, an unfinished novel, Amerika is a well-written critique of the American Dream and experience. To call this work stereotypical in any way is to forget when it was written and its ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - multifaceted - LibraryThing

Maybe I don't fully understand this novel--after all, it's a European writing about his ideas of America (a country he's never really visited) in the 1920s. And here I am, an American, who wasn't even ... Read full review

Contents

The Stoker
3
Uncle Jacob
38
A Country House Near New York
55
Copyright

6 other sections not shown

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About the author (1996)

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 At the end of his life, Kafka asked his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn all his unpublished work.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.

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