You loved him when he was alive and you loved him after. If you love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more?
Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

What! Would you burn my books?”
Cervantes, Don Quixote

Lovers of Franz K. (125 pages) is Burhan Sönmez’s sixth novel (2024).

This is Sönmez’s first novel he wrote in his mother tongue Kurdish, after writing five novels in Turkish. Kurdish is a language that has been suppressed and despised as a “mountain language” for a hundred years in the region.

Lovers of Franz K. is a thriller of love and literary revenge in the map of Paris-Istanbul-West Berlin and Tel Aviv, set in the midst of the Cold War in 1968.

While the youth uprising sweeps across Europe, a debate about Franz Kafka appears in student magazines in Paris. There is a secret group that punishes ex-Nazi criminals, and they begin to argue that they should also protect the dead writers and act for their spirit.

Lovers of Franz K. is a story of love and a creative obituary for Kafka.


“The story leads us to an intense and mysterious crime novel that gives the readers a taste of Poe, and by expanding the scope of the references into the thin fabric of the story, it keeps the excitement and curiosity alive from the beginning to the end.” (Bawer Rûken, Bianet)

“In Lovers of Franz K. various stories of characters with dual identities, old and new images of the cities of Istanbul, Paris and Berlin, stories of war and political crises and the love of two young people, they all gather around a murder attempt.” (Omer Sonmez, Rudaw)

“His novels are steeped in imprisonment and memory, with echoes of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and George Louis Borges.” (Jason Farago, The New York Times)