Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was born to a middle-class Jewish family in Prague. Most of his adult life was spent working in an insurance company, while his writing was a pursuit that occupied his spare time. Although he was unknown as a writer during his lifetime, the genius of his work was ultimately recognized after his death. Among his best-known books are The Metamorphosis (1915), and his posthumously published work The Trial (1925) and Amerika (1927). His work has profoundly influenced literature, film, and theater with his its extraordinary fusion of the extraordinarily prosaic and the fantastic.