Helen Phillips is the author of “The Beautiful Bureaucrat,” and the forthcoming novel, “The Need.” Growing up, much of her childhood was defined by her older sister, Katherine, who had a rare neurological disorder called Rett Syndrome.

It was a strange way to grow up, but for Helen it seemed normal. Until one of her high school teachers assigned an absurd novella that hit very close to home: Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis.”

Excerpts from “The Metamorphosis” were read by Paul Hinkes.

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