Fiction. California Interest. Asian & Asian American Studies. Who is Kafka-san? Is he a digitally remastered hologram of the famous writer? Or a golem engineered from a finger-bone excavated from a grave in Prague? Or just your garden-variety flesh-and-blood clone? No one is quite sure, least of all K, a Nisei woman hired to be Kafka-san's interpreter and chauffeur through millennial Los Angeles. In resplendent, incandescent prose, Karen An-hwei Lee fashions this short, strange trip out of a mind meld between the Czech fabulist of bureaucracies and a sun-hammered late-empire sprawl. Mary Caponegro says that the "verbal and the sensual are fused under [Lee's] supple pen, and you will marvel at her capacity to animate words, releasing them from habit and predictability into buoyancy." And Norman Lock states that "Lee has written a Waste Land for our time, whose symbolic epicenter is Los Angeles; her novella is, at once, a present dystopia and an uncanny invocation of Kafka, serving time in a penal colony where consumption and its proliferating glossaries have gone mad."
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Karen An-hwei Lee is the author of the poetry books PHYLA OF JOY (Tupelo 2012), ARDOR (Tupelo 2008) and In Medias Res (Sarabande 2004), winner of the Norma Farber First Book Award. Lee also wrote two chapbooks, God's One Hundred Promises (Swan Scythe 2002) and What the Sea Earns for a Living (Quaci Press 2014). A book of literary criticism, Anglophone Literatures in the Asian Diaspora: Literary Transnationalism and Translingual Migrations (Cambria 2013), was selected for the Cambria Sinophone World Series. She earned an M.F.A. from Brown University and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley. The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, Lee is a voting member of the National Book Critics Circle. She currently lives in San Diego.Author City: SANTA ANA, CA USA