Franz Kafka is among the most intriguing and influential writers of the last century. During his lifetime he worked as a civil servant and published only a handful of short stories, the best known being The Transformation. His other three novels, published after his death, helped to found his reputation as a uniquely perceptive interpreter of the twentieth century. Discussing both Kafka's crisis-ridden life and the subtleties of his art, Ritchie Robertson provides an intriguing and accessible look at the life of this fascinating author. Using Metamorphosis as a recurring example, Robertson shows how Kafka's work explores such characteristically modern themes as the place of the body in culture, the power of institutions over people, and the possibility of religion after Nietsche had proclaimed "the death of God."