Günter Grass - Novelists, Facts and Family

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Günter Grass's Personal Details

Gunter Grass was a German author who won the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature

InformationDetail
BirthdayOctober 16, 1927
Died onApril 13, 2015
NationalityGerman
FamousWriters, Novelists
SpousesAnna Margareta Schwartz, Ute Grunert
Known asGünter Wilhelm Grass
Universities
  • Berlin University of the Arts
  • Kunstakademie Düsseldorf
Birth PlaceFree City of Danzig
ReligionAtheism
GenderMale
FatherWilhelm Grass
MotherHelene Knoff
Sun SignLibra
Born inFree City of Danzig
Famous asNovelist
Died at Age87

// Famous Writers

Günter Grass's photo

Who is Günter Grass?

Gunter Wilhelm Grass was a prominent German author who rose to international fame with his very first novel, ‘The Tin Drum’, which became a best-seller and set the pace for his illustrious literary career. A highly skilled writer, he wrote plays, poems, and novels, and was also an illustrator and graphic artist. One of the major figures of contemporary German literature, he easily achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success with his large body of humorous and satirical works. Born into a middle class family in the Free City of Danzig, he grew up to be a rebellious teenager who wanted to escape the boring routines of his family life. He experienced more than his share of adventure when he joined the German Army as a tank gunner during the World War II and was wounded and captured by American forces. After his release he studied sculpture and graphics and became active in the German literary scenario. He was working with a small publishing house when he published his first novel which became a best-seller and also received much critical acclaim. Established as a major author by his very first novel, he published several other brilliant literary works over the next few decades. He was honoured with the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1999 for his invaluable contribution to literature.

// Famous Novelists

Childhood & Early Life

Gunter Grass was born in the Free City of Danzig on 16 October 1927. His family was a lower middle class one and his parents Wilhelm Grass and Helene were grocers. He had one younger sister.

He was raised a Catholic and attended the Danzig Gymnasium Conradinum.

As a youngster he was blessed with a good imagination and creativity. He spent a lot of his time drawing, reading and writing. In fact, he had started writing a novel when he was just 12 though he never completed it.

He was conscripted into the Reichsarbeitsdienst (National Labor Service) in 1943 when he was 16. The very next year he was drafted into the Waffen-SS.

He was wounded in April 1945 following which he was captured by American forces and sent to a U.S. prisoner-of-war camp. He was later released.

Upon his release, he worked for a while in a chalk mine and went on to study sculpture and graphics, at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

Career

Over the next few years he worked as an author, sculptor and graphic designer before moving to West Berlin in 1953. There he studied at the Berlin University of the Arts.

He was an active participant in the Group 47, an informal but influential association of German writers and critics, organized by Hans Werner Richter. The other members included Heinrich Böll, Uwe Johnson, and Ilse Aichinger.

He was working in a publishing house when he published his debut novel, ‘The Tin Drum’, in 1959. The novel, in spite of being his first one became a hit with the readers and critics alike and established him as a rising star in the German literary world.

In 1961, he wrote a novella, ‘Cat and Mouse’, and followed it with ‘Dog Years’ in 1963. ‘The Tin Drum’, along with these books collectively comprised the Danzig Trilogy which focuses on how Nazism and World War II changed the history of Danzig.

He published the novel ‘The Flounder’ in 1977 which is based on the folktale of ‘The Fisherman and His Wife’. This work was considered to be anti-feminist and deals with the struggle between the sexes. Heavily panned by feminists, the book was harshly critiqued.

In 1999, he released ‘My Century’, which was an overview of the 20th-century's many brutal historic events. Three years later, he wrote a novella, ‘Crabwalk’ which deals with the events of a refugee ship sunk by a submarine. It became a big success.

In addition to being an author he was also involved in social and political activism and was for several decades a supporter of the Social Democratic Party of Germany and its policies.

Major Work

His debut novel, ‘The Tin Drum’ remains his most famous work. One of the most widely read modern European novels, the book is considered a key text in magic realism. The novel’s protagonist, Oskar, who wills himself to stop growing at the age of three, charmed generations of readers making the novel an enduring success.

Awards & Achievements

in 1993, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature , and a couple of year later, in 1995, he was awarded the Hermann Kesten Prize.

The Swedish Academy awarded him the highest literary honour, the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1999. He was noted as a writer "whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history".

He received the '2012 European of the Year' award from the European Movement Denmark (Europabevægelsen) in recognition of his political debates in European affairs.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Anna Margareta Schwarz, a Swiss dancer, in 1954. This union produced four children. Anna and Gunter Grass separated in 1972 after almost two decades of marriage and divorced in 1978.

He married Ute Grunert, an organist, in 1979 and remained married to her for the rest of his life.

He also had two children from other relationships, two stepsons from his second marriage, and 18 grandchildren.

Gunter Grass lived a long life and died of a lung infection on 13 April 2015 in Lübeck at the age of 87.

// Famous German

Günter Grass awards

YearNameAward

Other

Europeans of the Year - 2012
Sonning Prize - 1996
Hermann Kesten Prize - 1995
Nobel Prize in Literature - 1999
Georg Büchner Prize - 1965
Prince of Asturias Award for Literature - 1999

Günter Grass biography timelines

  • // 16th Oct 1927
    Gunter Grass was born in the Free City of Danzig on 16 October 1927. His family was a lower middle class one and his parents Wilhelm Grass and Helene were grocers. He had one younger sister.
  • // 1943
    He was conscripted into the Reichsarbeitsdienst (National Labor Service) in 1943 when he was 16. The very next year he was drafted into the Waffen-SS.
  • // Apr 1945
    He was wounded in April 1945 following which he was captured by American forces and sent to a U.S. prisoner-of-war camp. He was later released.
  • // 1953
    Over the next few years he worked as an author, sculptor and graphic designer before moving to West Berlin in 1953. There he studied at the Berlin University of the Arts.
  • // 1954 To 1978
    He married Anna Margareta Schwarz, a Swiss dancer, in 1954. This union produced four children. Anna and Gunter Grass separated in 1972 after almost two decades of marriage and divorced in 1978.
  • // 1959
    He was working in a publishing house when he published his debut novel, ‘The Tin Drum’, in 1959. The novel, in spite of being his first one became a hit with the readers and critics alike and established him as a rising star in the German literary world.
  • // 1961 To 1963
    In 1961, he wrote a novella, ‘Cat and Mouse’, and followed it with ‘Dog Years’ in 1963. ‘The Tin Drum’, along with these books collectively comprised the Danzig Trilogy which focuses on how Nazism and World War II changed the history of Danzig.
  • // 1977
    He published the novel ‘The Flounder’ in 1977 which is based on the folktale of ‘The Fisherman and His Wife’. This work was considered to be anti-feminist and deals with the struggle between the sexes. Heavily panned by feminists, the book was harshly critiqued.
  • // 1979
    He married Ute Grunert, an organist, in 1979 and remained married to her for the rest of his life.
  • // 1993 To 1995
    in 1993, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature , and a couple of year later, in 1995, he was awarded the Hermann Kesten Prize.
  • // 1999
    In 1999, he released ‘My Century’, which was an overview of the 20th-century's many brutal historic events. Three years later, he wrote a novella, ‘Crabwalk’ which deals with the events of a refugee ship sunk by a submarine. It became a big success.
  • // 1999
    The Swedish Academy awarded him the highest literary honour, the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1999. He was noted as a writer "whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history".
  • // 2012
    He received the '2012 European of the Year' award from the European Movement Denmark (Europabevægelsen) in recognition of his political debates in European affairs.
  • // 13th Apr 2015
    Gunter Grass lived a long life and died of a lung infection on 13 April 2015 in Lübeck at the age of 87.

// Libra Celebrities

Günter Grass's FAQ

  • What is Günter Grass birthday?

    Günter Grass was born at 1927-10-16

  • When was Günter Grass died?

    Günter Grass was died at 2015-04-13

  • Which age was Günter Grass died?

    Günter Grass was died at age 87

  • Where is Günter Grass's birth place?

    Günter Grass was born in Free City of Danzig

  • What is Günter Grass nationalities?

    Günter Grass's nationalities is German

  • Who is Günter Grass spouses?

    Günter Grass's spouses is Anna Margareta Schwartz, Ute Grunert

  • What was Günter Grass universities?

    Günter Grass studied at Berlin University of the Arts, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf

  • What is Günter Grass's religion?

    Günter Grass's religion is Atheism

  • Who is Günter Grass's father?

    Günter Grass's father is Wilhelm Grass

  • Who is Günter Grass's mother?

    Günter Grass's mother is Helene Knoff

  • What is Günter Grass's sun sign?

    Günter Grass is Libra

  • How famous is Günter Grass?

    Günter Grass is famouse as Novelist