Franz Kafka was born to middle-class Jewish parents in Prague, Czechoslovakia on July 3, 1883. He received a law degree at the University of Prague. After performing an obligatory year of unpaid service as law clerk for the civil and criminal courts, he obtained a position in the workmans compensation division of the Austrian government. Always neurotic, insecure, and filled with a sense of inadequacy, his writing is a search for personal fulfillment and understanding. He wrote very slowly and deliberately, publishing very little in his lifetime. At his death he asked a close friend to burn his remaining manuscripts, but the friend refused the request. Instead the friend arranged for publication Kafkas longer stories, which have since brought him worldwide fame and have influenced many contemporary writers. His works include The Metamorphosis, The Castle, The Trial, and Amerika. He died from starvation due tuberculosis to on June 3, 1924 at the age of 40.