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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Kafka's Son by Curt Leviant

Dzanc Ebooks

Kafka's Son by Curt Leviant

Leviant - Kafkas Son - Final Cover.jpg
Leviant - Kafkas Son - Final Cover.jpg

Kafka's Son by Curt Leviant

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Set in New York City and Prague in 1992, Kafka’s Son follows a documentary filmmaker whose life has been defined by the men he refers to as the two Ks: Danny Kaye and Franz Kafka. In a New York synagogue, he meets an elderly Czech Jew named Jiri, once the head of the famous Jewish Museum in Prague, with whom he discovers a shared love of Kafka. Inspired by this new friendship, he travels to Prague to make a film about Jewish life in the city and its Kafka connections.

In his search for answers, he crosses paths with the beadle of the famous 900-year-old Altneushul synagogue, where a legendary golem is rumored to be hidden away in a secret attic, which may or may not exist; a mysterious man who may or may not be Kafka’s son; Mr. Klein, who although several years younger than Jiri may or may not be his father; and an enigmatic young woman in a blue beret, who is almost certainly real.

As Prague itself becomes as perplexing and unpredictable as its transient inhabitants, Curt Leviant unfolds a labyrinthine tale that is equal parts detective novel and love story, captivating maze and realistic fantasy, and a stunning tribute to Kafka and his city. Initially published in France in 2009, Kafka’s Son was selected by the Association of French Booksellers as a Choice Book and chosen as one of 40 Best Foreign Books of the Year for 2009. 

Praise for Kafka’s Son

Kafka’s Son is a realistic fantasy, a captivating maze, a detective novel, a love story, with multiple layers that never ceases to delight.” —Magazine Litteraire (France)
“Leviant likes to captivate and dazzle his readers. He is part of a family of writers consisting of Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, and Isaac Bashevis Singer—and to them he’s a mischievous cousin.” —Le Monde

About the Author

Curt Leviant is author of nine critically acclaimed works of fiction. He has won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award and writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Jerusalem Foundation, the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, and the New Jersey Arts Council. His work has been included in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and other anthologies, and his novels have been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and Romanian, among other languages.