A Cage Went in Search of a Bird: Ten Kafkaesque Stories (Paperback)

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A Cage Went in Search of a Bird: Ten Kafkaesque Stories By Tommy Orange (Contributions by), Ali Smith (Contributions by), Naomi Alderman (Contributions by), Elif Batuman (Contributions by), Helen Oyeyemi (Contributions by) Cover Image

A Cage Went in Search of a Bird: Ten Kafkaesque Stories (Paperback)

By Tommy Orange (Contributions by), Ali Smith (Contributions by), Naomi Alderman (Contributions by), Elif Batuman (Contributions by), Helen Oyeyemi (Contributions by)

$16.95


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(Fiction)

Staff Reviews


I couldn't get enough of this collection. These stories are just like the best of Kafka: surreal and chilling and witty and weird.

— Maddie

What happens when Kafka’s idiosyncratic imagination meets some of the greatest literary minds writing in English across the globe today? Find out in this anthology of brand-new Kafka-inspired short stories by prizewinning, bestselling writers.

Franz Kafka is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most enigmatic geniuses of European literature. He’s been hailed a prophet and a diagnostician, and a century after his death, his unique perspective on the anxieties, injustices, and rapidly shifting belief systems of the modern world continues to speak to our contemporary moment. 

From a future society who ask their AI servants to construct a giant tower to reach God; to an apartment search that descends into a comically absurd bureaucratic nightmare; to a population experiencing a wave of unbearable, contagious panic attacks, these ten specially commissioned stories are by turns mind-bending, funny, unsettling and haunting. Inspired by a twentieth-century visionary, they speak powerfully to the strangeness of being alive today.
With contributions from: Naomi Alderman, Elif Batuman, Joshua Cohen, Charlie Kaufman, Yiyun Li, Tommy Orange, Helen Oyeyemi, Keith Ridgway, Leone Ross, and Ali Smith. 

The authors in this book have won prizes including The Women's Prize for Fiction, the American Book Award, an Academy Award, multiple BAFTAs and the Writers Guild of America Award; and they have been shortlisted for prizes including the Booker Prize and the Pulitzer Prize. From countries including China, the USA, Ireland and the UK, and living now in cities around the globe from Prague to New York City, the authors represent how far-reaching Kafka's influence is across the world.
Product Details ISBN: 9781646222636
ISBN-10: 1646222636
Publisher: Catapult
Publication Date: June 4th, 2024
Pages: 224
Language: English
The Millions, A Most Anticipated Book of Spring

 “A Kafkaesque frisson can be felt in [this] wide-ranging Catapult anthology.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

"Surreal, dark, often hilarious, and not unworthy of a volume dedicated to the memory of Franz Kafka." —Michael Washburn, National Review

"A Cage Went in Search of a Bird meets me in this insatiable desire for the Kafkaesque. The cage is the page that obliges his paradoxical ghosts." —Alina Ştefănescu, Electric Literature

"The writing in this collection is deft, self-referential, horrifying, and funny. In one story, the protagonist asks ‘just who, and what, is a museum for? And [are] we really ready to have this conversation?’ Here readers can ask, who is Kafka for? A Cage Went in Search of a Bird is ready to have that very conversation.” —Dominic Charles Howarth, Shelf Awareness

"Mind-bending and consistently enjoyable . . . A Cage Went in Search of a Bird is a roller coaster ride that will delight the adventuresome reader . . . It’s easy to imagine Kafka paging through these varied and deeply imagined tales and nodding in admiration." —Harvey Freedenberg, BookPage

"Marking the hundredth anniversary of Franz Kafka's death, the 10 absurd tales in this multiauthored collection aspire to be Kafkaesque." —Booklist

"Inspired . . . These stories will do the trick for the Kafka curious and diehard fans alike.” —Publishers Weekly

"A boon for Kafkaheads everywhere." —John H. Maher, The Millions

“Franz Kafka died in June 1924, at the age of forty, but his fables of absurd transformation, macabre punishments, and human venality are alive and well . . . [The authors] offer narratives of baffling circumscriptions, illnesses, miscommunications, and technologies. But the stories also make space for potentiality, with characters witnessing change or glimpsing future possibilities—putting Kafka’s turn-of-the-century disillusionment into conversation with our own.” —Poets & Writers