The passionate but doomed epistolary love affair between a Czech translator and one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, the author of The Metamorphosis and The Trial.
“Extraordinary…touching, horrifying, brilliant, sickly, [and] heartbreaking…. The most significant key we have for a reading of the author’s novels and short stories.” —The New York Times
In no other work does Franz Kafka reveal himself as in Letters to Milena, which begins as a business correspondence but soon develops into an epistolary love affair. Kafka’s Czech translator, Milena Jesenská, was a gifted and charismatic twenty-three-year-old who was uniquely able to recognize Kafka’s complex genius and his even more complex character. For thirty-six-year-old Kafka, she was “a living fire, such as I have never seen.” It was to Milena that he revealed his most intimate self and, eventually, entrusted his diaries for safekeeping.