Horace Engdahl, the Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, announced on 30 September 1999 that Günter Grass had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 1999. Grass, his publisher said, was due at the dentist when the news came through from Stockholm. During the day, journalists crowded outside Mr Grass’s workshop in Lübeck. He told the reporters that he was very happy, and that Heinrich Böll, the last German who was awarded the Nobel Prize, would also have been very happy, he thought. A couple of days later, at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the author spent time signing his books.
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