Even Kafka Couldn’t Dream up California’s Surreal Housing Crisis

The Late Prague Novelist Visits the Golden State, Which Is Metamorphosing Into a Nightmare

I keep hearing you Californians calling your state’s housing crisis Kafkaesque.

You are far too kind: I never imagined a bureaucratic nightmare this cruel, absurd, and surreal.

I don’t know exactly how I got to California, or even how I came back to life. But I appeared here some weeks ago, in the form of an insect, like my protagonist in The Metamorphosis. And I’m glad I did. If I’d known weather like this in my lifetime, I might not have died of tuberculosis in Prague in 1924, shortly before …