The Metamorphosis is a novel written by Franz Kafka which was first published in 1915. It is the story of a young man, Gregor Samsa, who transformed overnight into a giant beetle-like insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family, an outsider in his own home, and a quintessentially alienated man. A harrowing -- though absurdly comic -- meditation on human feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and isolation, The Metamorphosis has taken its place as one of the most widely read and influential works of twentieth-century fiction. Born on July 3, 1883, in Prague, capital of what is now the Czech Republic, writer Franz Kafka grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family. Never famous in his own lifetime, most of Kafka's works were published and translated only during the 1920s and 1930s and almost instantly, they became cult texts of modern literature. His best known works include The Trial, The Castle, The Judgment and The Metamorphosis.