Famous German Short Story Writers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 16, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Andernach, Germany
Died: March 9, 1994

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.

 2 Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse
Famous As: Poet & Novelist
Birthdate: July 2, 1877
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Calw, Germany
Died: August 9, 1962

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. 

 3 Thomas Mann

Thomas Mann
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 6, 1875
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lübeck, Germany
Died: August 12, 1955
German author Thomas Mann, known for his epic novels, was part of the Hanseatic Mann family of authors. He depicted his own family in his novel Buddenbrooks. He won the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature. During Hitler’s reign, he fled to Switzerland and then to the U.S.
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 4 Jean Paul

Jean Paul
Famous As: Romantic Writer
Birthdate: March 21, 1763
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wunsiedel, Germany
Died: November 14, 1825

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

 5 Heinrich von Kleist

Heinrich von Kleist
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: October 18, 1777
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany
Died: November 21, 1811

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.

 6 Siegfried Lenz

Siegfried Lenz
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 17, 1926
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Elk, Poland
Died: October 7, 2014

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.

 7 Ludwig Tieck

Ludwig Tieck
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 31, 1773
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: April 28, 1853

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. 

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 8 Arnold Zweig

Arnold Zweig
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 10, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Głogów, Poland
Died: November 26, 1968

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. 

 9 Sibylle Berg

Sibylle Berg
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Weimar, Bezirk Erfurt, Germany

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

Luise Rinser
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 30, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pitzling, Germany
Died: March 17, 2002

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.

 11 Johann Karl August Musäus

Johann Karl August Musäus
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 29, 1735
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jena, Germany
Died: October 28, 1787

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. 

 12 Marie Luise Kaschnitz

Marie Luise Kaschnitz
Famous As: Short Story Writer
Birthdate: January 31, 1901
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Karlsruhe, Germany
Died: October 10, 1974

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. 

 13 Tankred Dorst

Tankred Dorst
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: December 19, 1925
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sonneberg, Germany
Died: June 1, 2017

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
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: May 7, 1939
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany

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.

 15 Leonhard Frank

Leonhard Frank
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 4, 1882
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
Died: August 18, 1961

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.

 16 Carl Sternheim

Carl Sternheim
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: April 1, 1878
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: November 3, 1942

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.

 17 Bernhard Kellermann

Bernhard Kellermann
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 4, 1879
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fürth, Germany
Died: October 17, 1951

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.