Friday, March 11, 2011

20 Reasons to Read My Book

By Kathi Diamant

If you attended our San Diego Writing Women Launch party on February 19, I don't have to tell you how fabulous it was: a brilliant crowd with standing room only, wonderful food and wines, outstanding music and fascinating discussions and presentations. Each of our nine writers had five minutes to share our books, and we chose different ways: some read from their book's chapters or preface, others spoke about the process.

I came up with "20 Reasons to Buy My Book." Since I only had 15 seconds per reason, I didn't get all the way through. So if you were there, here is the complete list, and if you weren't, here's how I filled my five minutes.

1. My book (Kafka's Last Love) is about Franz Kafka, one of the most influential writers in the world. His name or his adjective is invoked 75 times a day on the world wide web, and according to his bibliography, there's been a new book on Kafka published somewhere in the world every ten days for the past fourteen years. Of all the authors in all the world, only Shakespeare generates more PhDs, more biographies, more coffee-table books, and more tchachkes and trinkets than Kafka.

2. None of the Kafka biographies before my book’s publication and all of the biographies published since and from here on will have information that was discovered for and included in this book.

3. Kafka’s Last Love offers a fresh view of Franz Kafka. Long seen as a tormented and tortured individual, Kafka is seen through the eyes of his lover, Dora Diamant. We discover that Kafka was profound, joyous and inspirational.

4. Partially due to this new image of Kafka, expressed by Dora in this book, new publications of his work are abandoning the dark somber covers in exchange for brightly covered, playful jacket designs.

5. This book is the personal viewpoint of a wide expanse of history. Including, the rise of Communism, socialist Germany, the rise and fall of the third Reich, life in wartime Britain and the creation of Israel.

6. This book is about Dora Diamant, Kafka’s Last love. Several biographies have been written about his other love interests, Felice Bauer and Milena Jesenska. This is the first and so far, only book dealing with Dora’s life.

7. It is precisely because of Kafka’s love for Dora and his decision to live his last months with her that we are able to obtain this new view of Kafka. It’s a great, world class love story. Read it here.

8. If Dora is mentioned at all in other Kafka biographies, her involvement ends with (spoiler alert) Kafka’s death. This is the only book that examines Dora’s early life and solves the mystery of what became of her after Kafka’s passing.

9. There is currently convoluted legal trial going on in Israel involving the fate of various Kafka related documents currently in the hands of the descendants of Max Brod, Kafka’s friend, and publisher. The nature of those papers and documents, are found in this book.

10. Because of my book and its growing influence, I have been quoted as an expert last year in articles about Kafka in Time Magazine, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Washington Post and in numerous European publications.

11. Kafka’s Last Love contains the only English translation of an eye-witness account of (spoiler alert) Kafka’s death.

12. Kafka has been described as one of the most profoundly misunderstood writers of the 20th century. We can clear that up right now. Buy this book.

13. As a woman, you should buy this book. It is about a woman who kept her head above water in the great tides that swept the world in the last century. If you are a man, so was Kafka, and women loved him.

14. This book also contains the tragic story of Dora’s child Marianne Lask. Although biologically impossible by several years, she came to be known as Kafka’s daughter. A two for one offer. Read it here.

15. My book will make you want to read Kafka, and reading Kafka Makes You Smarter. It’s been scientifically proven. Studies conducted in 2009 by UC Santa Barbara and University of British Columbia showed that reading Kafka can make the brain work better and improve cognitive skills.

16. In this book you will read about the beginnings of the Kafka Project, the search for the missing papers of Franz Kafka. Originally thought to have been burned, instead Dora kept them secretly hidden they were confiscated by the Nazis when they looted the apartment of Dora and her husband, a publisher of underground Communist literature.

17. By reading this book you may be inspired to join the next Kafka Project Literary History tour, to Prague, Krakow and Berlin, currently scheduled for 2012.

18, There’s a strong thread of magic, metaphysics and mysticism surrounding Kafka and Dora. Those who study Kafka often write that that coincidences abound, and downright miracles occur.

19. Kafka’s aphorisms, which preface every chapter, are nuggets of wisdom and truth that you can use in your daily life. As long as you keep climbing there will be stairs…. Begin to see who you are instead of calculating what is to become of you.

20. This book, although extensively researched and footnoted, was written as a novel and is a damn good read.

Kathi Diamant left a career in broadcasting in 1990 to follow her dream to tell the story of Kafka’s last love. She retraced Dora’s life, interviewing all who knew her, uncovering lost letters in London, secret Nazi and Communist files in Berlin and Moscow, finding Dora’s missing diary in Paris , and reuniting her lost family in Tel Aviv. Kathi’s literary detective work resulted in KAFKA'S LAST LOVE: THE MYSTERY OF DORA DIAMANT, which won the San Diego Book Awards’ “Best Biography” and "Best of the Best" in 2004. It is translated into French, Spanish, Russian, and soon in Chinese, Portuguese and German.


Unknown said...

Reason to read your book: you can plagiarize with the best of them!

Your quote:
"Of all the authors in all the world, only Shakespeare generates more PhDs, more biographies, more coffee-table books, and more tchachkes and trinkets than Kafka."

J.M. Hawes, Why You Should Read Kafka Before You Waste Your Life. St. Martin's, 2008.
"Of all the authors in all the world, only Shakespeare generates more Ph.D.s, more biographies, more coffee-table books, and more trinkets than Kafka does."

Congrats on adding the "tchachkes and," that really changed the meaning.

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