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Franz Kafka's The Trial

The Trial, reinvented in this graphic novel, is a chilling and bleakly amusing tale about Joseph K, a man who is arrested for reasons that are never revealed, and who maintains his innocence in the face of the judicial process. The story maintains a relentless mood of disorientation and quirkiness, right up to the surreal ending. It shows the absurdity of human nature, of people acting upon one manic thought after another without direction and without result.

Franz Kafka (1883 to 1924) was one of the major German-language fiction writers of the 20th century. A middle-class Jew based in Prague, his unique body of writing - many incomplete and most published posthumously - has become amongst the most influential in Western literature. Kafka's works have come to embody the mix of absurd, surreal and mundane which gave rise to the adjective "Kafkaesque".

Chantal Montellier is one of Frances's leading Bande Dessinee artists. A painter and teacher who abandoned her career in the 'Beaux Arts' to become a cartoonist and illustrator, Chantal Montellier's work has appeared in a range of leading French newspapers and magazines including Le Monde, L'Humanite, France Nouvelle and L'Unite. She has written very successful graphic novels, most recently Tchernobyl, Mon Amour and Sorcieres Mes Soeurs (Actes Sud). She takes pride in her capacity to challenge people, and some of her work is very explicit. Her exhibitions include shows at the Beaubourg (Paris), and a retrospective at the Centre National de la Bande Dessinee et de l'Image, Angouleme. Her work has been featured on national and international radio and television.

David Zane Mairowitz is an author/playwright/radio director/translator. A professional freelance writer for 40 years, he has published numerous books, including the successful Introducing Kafka (with Robert Crumb), Introducing Camus and Wilhelm Reich for Beginners. His plays for the theatre include a critically acclaimed theatrical version of Kafka's The Trial. His articles have appeared in Harper's; Vogue; Plays and Players; the Village Voice, the Progressive and The Sunday Times. His short stories have appeared in literary magazines, including Partisan Review, New Directions and the prestigious Penguin Modern Stories. For the past 25 years he has produced radio dramas and documentaries for the BBC and in over 20 European countries, winning numerous international radio prizes.

Self Made Hero, paperback, 128 pages, published March 2008


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