One interesting fact from Franz Kafka's biography is that tragedy struck his childhood home when he was young. His two younger brothers both died by the time Kafka was 6 years old, according to Biography.com.
Kafka's mother was unable to understand his drive to become a writer, and his father had an overwhelming, forceful personality. This lead to Kafka having a difficult relationship with both of his parents. He perceived his personal struggles, in romance and other areas, to be in part due to his relationship with his father. His father had a tyrannical disposition, harsh temper, and little appreciation for his son's creative side. Kafka's literature often contained forces that could break the will and self-worth of his characters.
After he finished a law degree in his home town of Prague, Kafka went on to work at insurance agencies. He wrote as time allowed, but never received acclaim while he was alive. After Kafka's death in 1924, his longtime friend and political executor went against Kafka's wishes and began releasing his unpublished works. His books gained popularity during World War II and became a big influence on German literature. By the 1960s, his tales of men and faceless organizations spawned a new term in the English lexicon, "Kafkaesque."