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The Trial

Words by David Zane Mairowitz

Art by Chantal Montellier

Paperback with flaps, 128 pp, £12.99

"In the end, the only thing is to accept the way things are. Above all, don't call attention to yourself! Keep your mouth shut, however much this goes against your grain! Understand that this great legal system is in a state of delicate balance."

The Trial, reinvented in this striking graphic novel, is the bleak tale of Joseph K – arrested one morning for unexplained reasons – struggling against a bewildering judicial process. K finds himself thrown from one disorientating encounter to the next, becoming increasingly desperate to prove his innocence in the face of unknown charges. In its stark portrait of an authoritarian bureaucracy trampling over the lives of its estranged citizens, The Trial is as relevant today as it has ever been.

David Zane Mairowitz

David Zane Mairowitz is an author, playwright, radio director and translator. As a professional freelance writer for 40 years, he has collaborated on numerous books, including the successful Introducing Kafka (with Robert Crumb), Introducing Camus and Wilhelm Reich for Beginners. His plays for the theatre include a critically acclaimed theatrical version of Kafka's The Trial. His articles have appeared in Harper's, Vogue, Plays and Players, The Village Voice, The Progressive and The Sunday Times. His short stories have appeared in various literary magazines, including Partisan Review, New Directions and the prestigious Penguin Modern Stories. For the past 25 years, he has produced radio dramas and documentaries in over 20 European countries and for the BBC, winning various international radio prizes. He lives and works in France and Berlin.

Chantal Montellier

Chantal Montellier is one of France's leading Bande Dessinée artists. A painter and teacher who abandoned her career in the fine arts to become a cartoonist and illustrator, Chantal Montellier's work has appeared in a range of leading French newspapers and magazines including Le Monde, L'Humanité, France Nouvelle and L'Unité. She has written several very successful graphic novels, most recently Tchernobyl, Mon Amour and Sorcières Mes Soeurs (Actes Sud). She takes pride in her capacity to challenge people, and some of her work is very explicit. Her exhibitions include shows at the Beaubourg (Paris) and a retrospective at the Centre National de la Bande Dessinée et de l'Image (Angoulême). Her work has been featured on national and international radio and television. Chantal Montellier lives and works in France.


"An uncompromised success – as much as anyone can expect from literary adaptation."
— The Guardian
"One stone-cold gem... creepy, elaborate and beautiful."
— The Independent