Kathi Diamant is delighted to share her favorite Eastern European capitals, centers of Kafka Project research since 1985. After spending months in Prague, Berlin and Krakow researching the lost letters and notebooks of literary genius Franz Kafka, and uncovering the life of his last love, Dora Diamant, Kathi is the perfect host for this romantic exploration of history and literature. Kathi is Adjunct Professor and Director of the Kafka Project at San Diego State University, the official search for Kafka’s lost literary treasure since 1997, and teaches courses on Kafka at SDSU and UCSD. Her biography, “Kafka’s Last Love: The Mystery of Dora Diamant” won the Geisel Award “Best of the Best” in the San Diego Book Awards, and has been translated and published in France, Spain, Russia, Brazil, China, and (finally) in Germany in 2012. When not giving her time to the Kafka Project, Kathi is a tai chi instructor and a national pledge host for PBS. For more on Kathi, visit http://kathidiamant.com
Corky Lang is once again our Travel Director, having helped design, organize and lead the first Magical Mystery Literary History tour in 2008. Corky is a native San Diegan with a varied career in travel, theatre, journalism, and television. His nearly 20 years as a international travel director for premier groups took him to over 30 countries. Corky performed on a national tour of The Grapes of Wrath; co-produced the musical, Suds, at the Waterfront Theatre in San Francisco; and co-founded San Diego’s Fritz Theatre. He was production coordinator for the PBS documentaries, Primal Twang and Love-In. In the travel industry, his special events company produced elaborate theme parties for corporate clients. His “Murder Mystery Evening” was nationally performed over 100 times. He is an online columnist for the AOL-owned Lemon Grove Patch and occasional pledge break host for KPBS-TV. As the Magical Mystery Travel Director, Corky’s extensive experience in Eastern Europe has made possible finding the unknown gems of hotels, restaurants and the best local guides in each city.
Trudi Diamant is once again joining the Magical Mystery Literary History Tour as Associate Travel Director, ensuring a personalized touch for traveler’s experience. A professional travel agent for two decades, Trudi has been an integral part of the Kafka Project since its inception. In 1998, Trudi, along with her then 10 year old daughter, Annamaria, spent two months with the Kafka Project in Berlin. Born on a US Army base in Germany, Trudi holds a degree in German from University Alabama, Huntsville, and her language and organizations skills were essential in researching Berlin’s Nazi and Gestapo archives. As a travel agent, Trudi worked at travel agencies in California, Alabama and in Florida, where for six years she was Manager of At Your Service Travel in Bradenton. Trudi’s love of travel and special attention to the needs of her travel clients makes her an essential part of the Magical Mystery Literary History Tour. And as a special bonus, Annamaria, now 24 years old, will be joining the tour as an additional associate, in honor of her college graduation in May 2012.
Since she was 10 years old, Annamaria Diamant has been steeped in the mystery and romance surrounding Dora Diamant and Franz Kafka. During her two month stay in Berlin in 1998, Annamaria learned early the adventure of literary travel, and continues to travel as part of her work as director of summer dance camps across the United States. In that capacity, Annamaria has arranged travel for groups of 10 or more dance teachers, including booking airlines, hotels and restaurants and occasional tour excursions. A May 2012 graduate of University of South Florida, Annamaria is excited about returning to Prague, which she did not enjoy very much the first time, but this time she’ll be in a much nicer hotel, and to Berlin, which she did like very much, and to discovering Krakow for the first time.
Byron LaDue has been a benefactor of the research into Franz Kafka and Dora Diamant since 1990, and has participated in every Kafka Project research trip since 1998, when he spent four months in Berlin. Byron’s skills have supported the Kafka Project in numerous capacities. He spent weeks in Poland and Israel, as well as participating in research in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He has served as researcher, photographer, mentor, IT technical support, and as Kathi’s husband, much more. While in Krakow on Kafka Project research following the Magical Mystery Literary History in 2008, Byron participated in daily activities and events during the 18th Jewish Culture Festival, including a week-long Yiddish language class and singing classes. Byron’s knowledge of each city and behind the scenes stories of past research trips make him an especially fun and informative host.
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