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  • Published: 22 June 2017
  • ISBN: 9781409078074
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook

Peeling the Onion

The memoir of Germany's most celebrated contemporary writer.

Peeling the Onion is a searingly honest account of Grass' modest upbringing in Danzig, his time as a boy soldier fighting the Russians, and the writing of his masterpiece, The Tin Drum, in Paris.

It is a remarkable autobiography and, without question, one of Günter Grass' finest works.

By the Nobel Prize-winning author of The Tin Drum.

  • Published: 22 June 2017
  • ISBN: 9781409078074
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook

About the author

Günter Grass

Günter Grass (1927–2015) was Germany’s most celebrated post-war writer. He was a creative artist of remarkable versatility: novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, graphic artist. Grass’s first novel, The Tin Drum, is widely regarded as one of the finest novels of the twentieth century, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999.

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Praise for Peeling the Onion

An exquisitely constructed narrative... Peeling the Onion is a genuine masterpiece

Independent on Sunday

A memoir of rare literary beauty

New Yorker

As a writer, his influence still looms large, and Peeling the Onion is a reminder why. It has that same imaginative accuracy that made The Tin Drum a bestseller

The Times

An ingenious but treacherous text that glides constantly between past and present, first and third person, memory and imagination

Evening Standard

This subtle and expertly written book is really a memoir about forgetting

Sebastian Faulks, Sunday Times

Grass's profound and moving memoir [has] an unforgettable power, and it is not just the significance of his experiences, but the virtuosity of his writing which elevates Peeling the Onion over any memoir published in recent years

Daily Telegraph

As a demonstration of a literary will, the novelist's last testament, it is in many ways a masterpiece


A compelling memoir. The emotions unleashed are raw... It is with extreme eloquence that he can finally excavate the silences at the heart of his life

Anita Sethi, New Statesman

He peels his particular onion with the candour and irony that have shaped his fabulist fiction for close on 50 years and this beautifully gruff, no-nonsense account of his early life is direct and conversational, though not without jolts of profoundly human remorse

Irish Times

A wonderful book, full of life, full of love, vibrant and uncompromising and as picaresque and varied as all his finest works... As a portrait of a young boy and young man alive in Germany through its most devastating decades, it will stand as a factual masterpiece... an astonishing tour de force

Carmen Callil

Much of this memoir is painfully honest, and the confessions in it are clearly written from the heart

Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday Book of the Week

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