Life After Kafka

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Product Details
$17.99  $16.73
Bellevue Literary Press
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.2 X 0.8 inches | 0.65 pounds

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About the Author

Magdaléna Platzová is the author of several books, including three novels published in English: Aaron's Leap, a Lidové Noviny Book of the Year Award finalist, The Attempt, longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award and a Czech Book Award finalist, and Life After Kafka, a Magnesia Litera award finalist. Her fiction has also appeared in A Public Space and Words Without Borders. Platzová grew up in the Czech Republic; studied in Washington, DC, and England; received her MA in Philosophy at Charles University in Prague; and has taught at New York University's Gallatin School. She is now based in Lyon, France.


"Affecting." --Library Journal (starred review)

"Enchanting. . . . As Felice Bauer receives her spotlight, Platzová deserves one, too." --Publishers Weekly

"A deeply empathetic story of survival, exile, and belonging. Magdaléna Platzová allows Felice Bauer to step out of Kafka's shadow and, in the process, she recognizes that there is always so much more than one truth. This is a powerful, kaleidoscopic literary novel." --Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin and Apeirogon

"This elegantly narrated novel, full of fascinations, paints an impassioned and poignant portrait of Felice Bauer and other exiles connected to Franz Kafka and charts a compelling cartography of their now vanished world." --Benjamin Balint, author of Kafka's Last Trial and Bruno Schulz

"In Life After Kafka, Magdaléna Platzová movingly portrays Felice Bauer's valiant efforts to forge a new life for herself and her family in the wake of historical catastrophe, even as she grapples with whether to reveal an intimate and painful chapter of her past in service to Kafka's literary legacy. This meticulously researched and vividly imagined tale peels back the layers of cultural myth, offering a testament to a different kind of heroism." --Ross Benjamin, translator of The Diaries of Franz Kafka

"With Life After Kafka, Magdaléna Platzová has evoked a cosmopolitan storm of post-World War II emotion, an obsessive level of research, and a unique documentary-style attention that adds not only to the mystery of Franz Kafka, but to the scholarship of Kafka as well. This original, sophisticated novel bewitches and inspires." --Joanna Hershon, author of The Outside of August and St. Ivo

"Franz Kafka is a universe that resists any attempt at interpretation. Magdaléna Platzová's novel offers a new key to Kafka's world: we look at it through the tender and sorrowful gaze of the people whose fate had been marked by him personally. An utterly touching book!" --Agnieszka Holland, award-winning filmmaker and president of the European Film Academy

"Life After Kafka is a thrilling detective story about one of literature's most celebrated names, a haunting family saga about preserving our legacy during the darkest turns of history, and a thought-provoking exploration of the rippling impact of famous artists on the people in their lives. Platzová's masterful merging of fact and fiction, in Alex Zucker's artful and inspired translation, carries us across decades and continents to prove that our connections can be abandoned and yet unbroken, and that even the briefest encounters--in love and in art--can shape us forever." --Jaroslav Kalfař, author of Spaceman of Bohemia and A Brief History of Living Forever

"Life After Kafka is not just a fictional quest to find out who Kafka's fiancée, Felice Bauer, was and what kind of life she led after their five-year correspondence ended. In it, 'life after Kafka' is the existential situation into which a community of Prague-based, Jewish intellectuals were thrown . . . capturing the living conditions and possibilities of the refugees after the loss of their homes and relationships, after the shattering of the world whose ruins each of them took with them in a few suitcases." --Magnesia Litera jury citation