One of the most influential authors of the 20th Century, Franz Kafka was a Bohemian novelist and short story writer. His works have become synonymous with bureaucratic dystopias, surrealist allegory and intense paranoia – the term ‘Kafkaesque’ has been coined to indicate his worldview. Little known during his short lifetime, his literary output soared in stature after his death. Kafka began writing in 1908 but it was 1912 that would prove something of an annus mirabilis for him creatively. In that year he penned the iconic short story The Metamorphosis, about a salesman who wakes up to find himself transformed into a giant insect, and also began work on his first novel which would be published posthumously under the title America. From 1914 up until his death from tuberculosis ten years later Kafka worked on both The Trial and The Castle, two mysterious novels detailing an individual’s torturous process to gain access to a labyrinthine, confused system. Both remained unfinished upon Kafka’s death (although he had written the final chapter of The Trial) but were published posthumously by his friend Max Brod – despite Kafka’s last request to Brod to destroy his unpublished works.