German-American poet and short story writer ,Charles Bukowski, addressed the ordinary lives of poor Americans in most of his works. Since his death, he has been the subject of many critical books and articles. His stories have inspired several films like Tales of Ordinary Madness, Crazy Love, and Factotum.
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.
Jean Paul was a German writer best remembered for his humorous stories and novels. While many of his fans hold him in high regard, his critics treat his work with indifference. Due to such a disparity, Paul holds an unusual position in German literary history. Robert Schumann admired Jean Paul's works, which served as an inspiration to the former's Papillons.
Dissatisfied with his army career, Heinrich von Kleist had also studied law and math but quit studies later to devote himself to writing. Part of German Romanticism, he penned iconic plays such as The Schroffenstein Family and Hermann’s Battle. He eventually shot himself and his lover Henriette in a murder-suicide.
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.
Ludwig Tieck was a German poet, writer, and translator. He is regarded as one of the founding fathers of the Romantic movement that originated in the late 18th century. He wrote numerous short stories, poems, and plays in the early Romantic tradition. In his later years, he was active as a literary critic. Poet Sophie Tieck was his sister.
Arnold Zweig was a German writer and socialist best known for his six-part cycle on World War I. He was well-educated as a young man and was influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy. He fought in World War I and became an active socialistic Zionist after the war. He wrote many anti-war novels, many of which were later made into films.
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.
10 Luise Rinser
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.
Tankred Dorst was a German storyteller and playwright best remembered for his magnum opus drama Merlin oder das wüste Land, which is often compared to Goethe's Faust. Over the years, Dorst's work has been honored with several prizes and distinctions, such as the Gerhart Hauptmann Prize, Georg Büchner Prize, the Samuel Bogumil Linde Prize, and the European Prize for Literature.
14 Volker Braun
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.
Leonhard Frank was a German writer who gained recognition after publishing his debut novel The Robber Band. Among his best-known novels were Carl and Anna, which was adapted into a film titled Desire Me by MGM in 1947. Frank, who also studied graphic art and painting, lived in places like Switzerland, London, Paris, and the United States for various reasons.
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.
Bernhard Kellermann was a German poet and author. He is credited with writing the 1913 novel Der Tunnel, which was adapted into a film titled The Tunnel in 1935 by Maurice Elvey. Kellermann, who often criticized the society through his works, faced difficulties during the Nazi era; one of his works titled The Ninth November was burned publicly.