German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter Hermann Hesse received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. He explored individuals’ search for authenticity, self-knowledge, and spirituality in his works. An intense and headstrong person from childhood, he developed an early interest in reading. He started writing as a young man and became an influential author in the German-speaking world.
Nobel Prize-winning German author Heinrich Böll refused to join the Nazi youth wing and became a bookseller’s apprentice instead. However, he fought for the German Army later. He is best remembered for his works such as The Clown and The Silent Angel, revolving around themes of war.
Siegfried Lenz was a German writer best remembered for his novels, essays, and short stories. He also served as a soldier in Nazi Germany's navy during World War II. He then went on to establish himself as a notable writer, winning prestigious awards like the International Nonino Prize and the Goethe Prize.
Sibylle Berg is a German-born Swiss author and playwright considered one of the most famous and influential writers and playwrights in the German-speaking world. She writes novels, essays, fiction, and plays, and her books have been translated into 30 languages. She is non-binary and a popular figure in the LGBTQAI+ community. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards.
Initially a teacher, Luise Rinser later joined the Frauenschaft. She was later imprisoned for not supporting the Nazis. Her experiences in the prison were collected in Prison Journal, which became a bestseller. The German author was quite politically active in her country and was well-traveled too.
Johann Karl August Musäus was a popular 18th-century German author. He was among the first collectors of German folk stories and is best known for his Volksmärchen der Deutschen, a collection of German fairy tales retold as satires. Besides writing, he also taught ancient history and languages at the Wilhelm-Ernst-Gymnasium in Weimar. An asteroid has been named after him.
Marie Luise Kaschnitz was a German writer of short stories, essays, and novels. She is counted among the leading post-war German poets. Most of her short stories were inspired by her life experiences. Her stories often dealt with particular stages in a woman's life. She was the recipient of many prizes, including the Georg Büchner Prize.
Volker Braun is a German writer best known for his works like Provocation for me, The Dumpers, and The Unrestrained Life of Kast. Braun, who writes plays, novels, poetry, and short stories, has been honored with several prestigious prizes and distinctions, such as the National Prize of East Germany, the Schiller Memorial Prize, and the Georg Büchner Prize.
Carl Sternheim was a German short story writer and playwright. One of the best-known exponents of expressionism in Germany, Sternheim satirized the moral sensibilities of the bourgeoisie during the Wilhelmine period. Many of Sternheim's works remain popular and have been adapted into plays; his comedy Bürger Schippel was adapted into a West End production in the 1970s.