Book Tip of the Week: “Konundrum: Selected Prose of Franz Kafka”

In this new selection and translation, Peter Wortsman mines Franz Kafka’s entire opus of short prose – including works published in the author’s brief lifetime, stories published posthumously, journals, and letters – for narratives that sound the imaginative depths of the great German-Jewish scribe from Prague. It is the first volume in English to consider his deeply strange, resonantly humane letters and journal entries alongside his classic short fiction and lyrical vignettes. Composed of short, black-comic parables, fables, fairy tales, reflections, as well as classic stories like “In the Penal Colony,” Kafka’s uncanny foreshadowing of the Twentieth Century’s nightmare, “Konundrum” refreshes the writer’s mythic storytelling powers for a new generation of readers.

Peter Wortsman was a Fulbright Fellow in 1973 and a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in 2010. His writing has been honored with many awards such as the 2008 Gertje Potash-Suhr Prosapreis of the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German and a 2014 Independent Publishers Book Award (IPPY). Peter Wortman recently appeared at Deutsches Haus of NYU in New York to present is latest work.

“Konundrum: Selected Prose of Franz Kafka” is available at as paperback ($16) and as eBook ($10).