Franz Kafka (born July 3, 1883, Prague, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary – died June 3, 1924, Kierling, Austria) was a German-language novelist and short story writer, regarded as one of the most important authors of the 20th century. His unique body of writing is considered to be among the most influential in Western literature.
Kafka’s best-known works include Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis), Betrachtung (Meditation), Der Process (The Trial), Das Schloss (The Castle), and Amerika. Main themes of his novels and short stories are alienation, absurdity, guilt, and existential anxiety.
During his lifetime, Kafka published just a few of his writings and was known only to a smaller group of readers. Although Kafka demanded that his unpublished manuscripts be destroyed, his friend Max Brod published most of them after Kafka’s death.