Peeling the Onion (Paperback)

By Günter Grass, Michael Henry Heim (Translated by)

Mariner Books, 9780156035347, 448pp.

Publication Date: June 2, 2008

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (8/19/2007)
Hardcover (6/1/2007)
Compact Disc (8/20/2007)
Compact Disc (8/20/2007)

List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In this extraordinary memoir, Nobel Prize–winning author Günter Grass remembers his early life, from his boyhood in a cramped two-room apartment in Danzig through the late 1950s, when The Tin Drum was published.

During the Second World War, Grass volunteered for the submarine corps at the age of fifteen but was rejected; two years later, in 1944, he was instead drafted into the Waffen-SS. Taken prisoner by American forces as he was recovering from shrapnel wounds, he spent the final weeks of the war in an American POW camp. After the war, Grass resolved to become an artist and moved with his first wife to Paris, where he began to write the novel that would make him famous.

Full of the bravado of youth, the rubble of postwar Germany, the thrill of wild love affairs, and the exhilaration of Paris in the early fifties, Peeling the Onion—which caused great controversy when it was published in Germany—reveals Grass at his most intimate.

About the Author

GÜNTER GRASS (1927–2015), Germany's most celebrated contemporary writer, attained worldwide renown with the publication of his novel The Tin Drum in 1959. A man of remarkable versatility, Grass was a poet, playwright, social critic, graphic artist, and novelist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1999.


Praise For Peeling the Onion



"Grass has written a memoir of rare literary beauty . . . Peeling the Onion, like Grass’s best novels, is filled with striking poetic imagery."—Ian Buruma, The New Yorker


"Peeling the Onion is wakeful, twitchy, suspicious, shambling, and yet also—if we are still permitted to use this word as a compliment—sincere."—John Leonard, Harper's Magazine