The Nobel Prize in Literature 1999
Born: 16 October 1927, Danzig (now Gdansk), Free City of Danzig (now Poland)
Died: 13 April 2015, Lübeck, Germany
Residence at the time of the award: Federal Republic of Germany
Prize motivation: "whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history."
Prize share: 1/1
German writer Günter Grass also made a living as a graphic artist and sculptor. He grew up in Danzig during World War II and joined the Waffen-SS, something he comes to terms with in the autobiographical novel Peeling the Onion (2006). Grass was a political activist and did not hesitate to comment on contemporary events. Among other things, he criticized the 1961 erection of the Berlin Wall.
Günter Grass wrote a number of novels using World War II and Nazi war crimes as a backdrop. His big breakthrough came in 1959 with The Tin Drum. The city of Danzig/Gdansk and its alternating German and Polish affiliation serve as the background in several of his writings. Characteristic of his literary style is the way he mixes autobiographical and historical elements with fictional events that together form an ironic social satire.
Their work and discoveries range from the Earth’s climate and our sense of touch to efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.
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