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Required Reading for Fans of Kafka

Posted 26th Oct 2018

‘A genius’ – Guardian

‘The greatest German writer of our time’ – Vladimir Nabokov

The Unhappiness of Being a Single Man  is a collection of new translations by the acclaimed Alexander Starritt of the best stories by Franz Kafka, one of the twentieth century’s greatest and most influential writers. It’s the perfect introduction to Kafka’s shorter work and shows the genius at his very best. To celebrate its publication we’ve gathered together a required reading list for Kafka fans!

The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

Both eerie and poignant, The Beautiful Bureaucrat is a sublime page-turner of a novel that asks the biggest questions about marriage and fidelity, birth and death, calling to mind the exuberant strangeness of Kafka and Murakami, and the fairytales of Angela Carter. We also publish her brilliantly unsettling collection of short stories, Some Possible Solutions, which explore some of life’s most unsettling questions. Buy The Beautiful Bureaucrat  and Some Possible Solutions  from our online shop.

The Outsider by Albert Camus

Also published as The Stranger, this is Camus’s classic existentialist novel, twice adapted for film, and is his most widely known work. It tells the story of Meursault, a bachelor who works as a clerk but is at odds with the society he lives in and through him Camus explores how an individual can be alienated if they refuse to conform.

The Boy Who Stole Attila’s Horse by Iván Repila

The Boy Who Stole Attila’s Horse  is the story of two brothers, Big and Small, who are trapped down a well with no means of escape. What ensues is a whirlwind of anger, despair and madness, all overlaid with a dark political and social allegory which will leave you deep in thought long after the last page is turned. It’s a short, intense and deeply affecting read. Buy The Boy Who Stole Attila’s Horse  from our online shop.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

One of Haruki Murakami’s greatest achievements, Kafka on the Shore, focuses on two characters – the teenage boy Kafka Tamura and the elderly Nakata – who are drawn together for reasons initially unclear. Murakami explores a world where cats talk and fish fall from the sky in a story showing a great storyteller at the peak of his powers.

The Evenings by Gerard Reve

A modern masterpiece, voted the best Dutch novel of the twentieth century, we published the first ever English translation of this postwar classic to critical acclaim in 2016. It’s the story of ten evenings in twenty-three-year-old Frits’ life at the end of December, as he drinks, smokes, sees friends, aimlessly wanders the gloomy city streets and tries to make sense of the minutes, hours and days that stretch before him. Purchase The Evenings  from our online shop.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude is a Spanish masterclass of magical realism about the seven generations of the Buendía family and the mythical town of Macondo, which they have built. It remains a dazzling literary achievement from a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, alive with unforgettable characters.


Purchase The Unhappiness of Being a Single Man  from our online shop >