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G8nter Grass is Germany's best-known and internationally most successful living author, from his first novel The Tin Drum to his recent controversial autobiography. He is known for his tireless social and political engagement with the issues that have shaped post-War Germany: the difficult legacy of the Nazi past, the Cold War and the arms race, environmentalism, unification and racism. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1999. This Companion offers the widest coverage of Grass's oeuvre across the range of media in which he works, including literature, television and visual arts. Throughout, there is particular emphasis on Grass's literary style, the creative personality which inhabits all his work, and the impact on his reputation of revelations about his early involvement with Nazism. The volume sets out, in a fresh and lively fashion, the fundamentals that students and readers need in order to understand Grass and his individual works.
Diversity is one of the defining characteristics of contemporary German-language literature, not just in terms of the variety of authors writing in German today, but also in relation to theme, form, technique and style. However, common themes emerge: the Nazi past, transnationalism, globalisation, migration, religion and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and identity. This book presents the novel in German since 1990 through a set of close readings both of international bestsellers (including Daniel Kehlmann's Measuring the World and W. G. Sebald's Austerlitz) and of less familiar, but important texts (such as Yadé Kara's Selam Berlin). Each novel discussed in the volume has been chosen on account of its aesthetic quality, its impact and its representativeness; the authors featured, among them Nobel Prize winners Günter Grass, Elfriede Jelinek and Herta Müller demonstrate the energy and quality of contemporary writing in German.
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