Synopses & Reviews
Franz Kafka's 1915 novella of unexplained horror and nightmarish transformation became a worldwide classic and remains a century later one of the most widely read works of fiction in the world. It is the story of traveling salesman Gregor Samsa, who wakes one morning to find himself transformed into a monstrous insect. This hugely influential work inspired George Orwell, Albert Camus, Jorge Louis Borges, and Ray Bradbury, while continuing to unsettle millions of readers. In her new translation of Kafka's masterpiece, Susan Bernofsky strives to capture both the humor and the humanity in this macabre tale, underscoring the ways in which Gregor Samsa's grotesque metamorphosis is just the physical manifestation of his longstanding spiritual impoverishment.
"Bernofsky is one of the finest translators of German working today, and her new English version of Kafka's most famous tale--of Gregor Samsa, the horrifying and helpless human-sized insect--distinguishes itself from previous translations in its first sentence." Slate
"This welcome new edition of was translated by Susan Bernofsky in a smoother, less Germanic, more contemporary voice than the Muir version most Anglophone readers remember from school, and is introduced by the master of biological horror, director David Cronenberg." Andrew Hultkrans
"Susan Bernofsky's new, exacting translation shows just how ingenious the structure of  is, and just how difficult it is to render Kafka's German into English. She succeeds brilliantly, however, with a vivid fidelity to Kafka's vision, driving home the way he makes us at once sympathetic to his anti-hero, Gregor Samsa, and repulsed by him." Bookforum
"Bernofsky has performed an act of magic with her translation. She's found the human inside Kafka's words--imploring and beseeching and begging, in his own quiet way, for help--and delivered him to us, in flesh and blood. It's a letter that comes more than a century too late, but it's finally been delivered. That, in a quiet and bookish way, is some kind of small act of hope." Arlice Davenport The Wichita Eagle
In her new translation of Kafka's masterpiece, Susan Bernofsky strives to capture both the humor and the humanity in this macabre tale, underscoring the ways in which Gregor Samsa's grotesque metamorphosis is just the physical manifestation of his longstanding spiritual impoverishment.
"This fine version, with David Cronenberg's inspired introduction and the new translator's beguiling afterword, is, I suspect, the most disturbing though the most comforting of all so far; others will follow, but don't hesitate: this is the transforming text for you."--Richard Howard
“There is nothing which The Metamorphosis could be surpassed by.”—Elias Canetti, Nobel Prize–winning author
About the Author
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was born of Jewish parents in Prague. Several of his story collections were published in his lifetime and his novels, The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika, were published posthumously by his editor Max Brod.Prize-winning translator Susan Bernofsky has translated numerous works by Robert Walser including The Microscripts, The Tanners, and The Assistant. She is currently at work on a biography of Robert Walser