The Metamorphosis is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It is often cited as one of the seminal works of short fiction of the 20th century and is widely studied in colleges and universities across the western world. The story begins with a travelling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into a monstrous insect-like creature.
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a culturally influential German-language novelist. Contemporary critics and academics, including Vladimir Nabokov, regard Kafka as one of the best writers of the 20th century. The term "Kafkaesque" has become part of the English language. Kafka was born to middle class German-speaking Jewish parents in Prague, Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The house in which he was born, on the Old Town Square next to Prague's Church of St Nicholas, now contains a permanent exhibition devoted to the author. Most of Kafka's writing, much of it unfinished at the time of his death, was published posthumously.