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Awarded the Nobel Prize in English in 1999, Gunter Grass is the most influential German writer since the Second World War. His books have always challenged conventional attitudes and outraged readers. From The Tin Drum (1959), where he broke down the wall of silence which surrounded ordinary people's involvement in the Third Reich, to Too Far Afield (1995), which upset the reigning consensus on the success of German reunification, he has attracted controversy. He is also an undisputed master of the German language, whose style has inspired novelists in the English-speaking world, from Salman Rushdie and Graham Swift to John Irving. This book shows how Grass's experiences as a teenager in Hitler's Germany shaped his thinking, both in his literary writing and in his role as campaigner and critic. Julian Preece draws on unpublished correspondence, the memoirs of contemporaries and the most recent research, to present a rounded portrait of the most important German writer since Thomas Mann. This new paperback edition includes a Guide to Further Reading and chronology of key dates, as well as a new chapter on Grass's latest works, Crabwalk and My Century.
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