The Malta Independent 23 September 2023, Saturday
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‘K: The Letter Writer’

Sunday, 10 September 2023, 08:15 Last update: about 16 days ago

Author: Kenneth Wain

Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers / 2023


Franz K is a Prague insurance lawyer who is also a dedicated part-time writer of literature.

After meeting Felice at his best friend's engagement party, he begins to correspond with her. Felice lives in Berlin. Their correspondence soon grows into a romantic relationship carried out nearly entirely in writing at first, though Franz visits Berlin occasionally to see her. Felice wants to take the relationship towards marriage and presses Franz in that direction. But Franz is ambivalent about marriage.

It is something he strongly wants and equally strongly fears because he believes that his writing demands his single-minded dedication. The result is a dramatic struggle he experiences internally between Franz, the man and Franz, the writer, with Felice becoming the unwitting battlefield on which it is fought, and its hapless victim. The struggle is the subject of the novel and it unfolds mainly between Prague and Berlin in a dramatic historical period starting just before the outbreak of World War I and continuing as the war progresses.

Kenneth Wain is a philosophy professor with numerous academic publications, and a published poet and short-story writer in his country, Malta. K: The Letter Writer (Book One: Felice), a biographical novel, is the first of the kind he has written, and of a planned trilogy of novels featuring Franz Kafka's two other great loves, Milena and Dora. The writing of the trilogy, which fictionalises the life of Franz Kafka ("K"), Franz in the novel, grew from years of close reading of Kafka's texts; his novels, stories, diaries, letters and from the biographical research of the author.

'K: The Letter Writer' by Kenneth Wain is published by Austin Macauley Publishers and is available on and Amazon and all major booksellers

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