Günter Grass Books In Order

Danzig Trilogy Books In Order

  1. The Tin Drum (1959)
  2. Cat and Mouse (1961)
  3. Dog Years (1963)


  1. Local Anaesthetic (1970)
  2. Inmarypraise (1973)
  3. The Flounder (1978)
  4. The Meeting at Telgte (1981)
  5. The Rat (1987)
  6. The Call of the Toad (1992)
  7. My Century (1999)
  8. Too Far Afield (2000)
  9. Crabwalk (2003)


  1. Four Plays (1967)
  2. Graphics and Writing (1983)
  3. Drawings and Words, 1954-77 (1984)
  4. Etchings and Words, 1972-1982 (1985)
  5. The Gunter Grass Reader (2004)
  6. The Box (2010)


  1. The Plebians Rehearse the Uprising (1966)
  2. Max (1972)

Non fiction

  1. Speak Out! (1969)
  2. From the Diary of a Snail (1973)
  3. Danzig 1939 (1980)
  4. Headbirths (1982)
  5. On Writing and Politics, 1967-83 (1985)
  6. Show Your Tongue (1989)
  7. Two States (1990)
  8. Peeling the Onion (2007)
  9. From Germany to Germany (2012)
  10. Of All That Ends (2016)

Danzig Trilogy Book Covers

Novels Book Covers

Collections Book Covers

Plays Book Covers

Non fiction Book Covers

Günter Grass Books Overview

The Tin Drum

The greatest German novel since the end of World War II, The Tin Drum is the autobiography of Oskar Matzerath, thirty years old, detained in a mental hospital, convicted of a murder he did not commit. On the day of his third birthday, Oskar had ‘declared, resolved, and determined to stop right there, remain as I was, stay the same size, cling to the same attire’ striped pullover and patent leather shoes. That same day Oskar receives his first tin drum, and from then on it is the means of his expression, allowing him to draw forth memories from the past as well as judgments about the horrors, injustices, and eccentricities he observes through the long nightmare of the Na*zi era. As that era ebbs bloodily away, as drum succeeds drum, Oskar participates in the German postwar economic miracle working variously in the black market, as an artist’s model, in a troupe of traveling musicians. With the onset of affluence and fame, Oskar decides to grow a few inches, only to develop a humpback. But despite his newfound status and stature, Oskar remains haunted by the deaths of his parents, afflicted by his responsibility for past sins and so assumes guilt for a murder he did not commit as an act of atonement and an opportunity to find consolation. The rhythms of Oskar’s drums are intricate and insistent, and they lead us, often by way of shocking fantasies, through the dark forest of German history. Through Oskar’s piercing, outspoken voice and deformed little figure, through the imaginative distortion and exaggeration of historical experience, a pathetically hilarious yet startlingly true portrayal of the human situation comes into view.

Cat and Mouse

For many years, Gunter Grass born 1927 has been one of the world’s most vital literary figures. From the publication of The Tin Drum through his latest pleas for sane government and civil treatment of Germany’s ‘foreign citizens’ in the 1990s, Grass has been at the forefront of both literary and political worlds. This representative volume features two important works: Cat and Mouse and The Meeting at Telgte. Both speak to our time, but under very different settings. It also includes a selection of other works to give a well rounded view of a writer whom John Irving characterizes in his foreword as ‘the greatest living novelist today’. The German Library is a new series of the major works of German literature and thought from medieval times to the present. The volumes have forewords by internationally known writers and introductions by prominent scholars. Here the English speaking reader can find the broadest possible collection of poetic and intellectual achievements in new as well as great classic translations. Convenient and accessible in format, the volumes of The German Library will form the core of any growing library of European literature for years to come. Select list of volumes now published: German Medieval Tales German Humanism and Reformation Immanuel Kant: Philosophical Writings Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: The Sufferings of Young Werther and Elective Affinities Friedrich Schiller: Plays ‘Intrigue and Love’ and ‘Don Carlos’ Friedrich Schiller: ‘Wallenstein’ and ‘Mary Stuart’ German Fairy Tales German Literary Fairy Tales German Romantic Novellas German Romantic Stories German Novellas of Realism German Poetry from 1750 to 1900 Georg Buchner: Complete Works and Letters Rainer Maria Rilke: Prose and Poetry Gottfried Benn: Prose, Essays, Poems German Essays on Art History Essays on German Theater Hans Magnus Enzensberger: Critical Essays

Dog Years

A novel set in three parts, beginning in the 1920s and ending in the 1950s, that follows the lives of two friends from the prewar years in Germany through an apocalyptic period and its startling aftermath. Translated by Ralph Manheim. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

Local Anaesthetic

Starusch, a 40 year old teacher of German and history, undergoes protracted dental treatment in an office where TV is used to distract the patients. Under local anesthesia, the patient projects onto the screen his past and present with the fluidity and visual quality of the movies. A satirical portrait of social confusions. Translated by Ralph Manheim. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

The Flounder

It all begins in the Stone Age, when a talking fish is caught by a fisherman at the very spot where millennia later Grass’s home town, Danzig, will arise. Like the fish, the fisherman is immortal, and down through the ages they move together. As Grass blends his ingredients into a powerful brew, he shows himself at the peak of his linguistic inventiveness. Translated by Ralph Manheim. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

The Meeting at Telgte

A group of leading intellectuals from all parts of Germany gather in 1647 for the purpose of strengthening the last remaining bond within a divided nation its language and literature as the Thirty Years’ War comes to an end. Afterword by Leonard Forster. Translated by Ralph Manheim. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

The Rat

A major new work from Germany’s greatest modern writer, this wildly imaginative yet superbly told novel revives some of Grass’s most famous characters from his novels The Tin Drum, Headbirths, and The Flounder, as it tells the story of a female rat who engages the narrator in a series of dialogues convincingly demonstrating that The Rats will inherit a devastated earth.

The Call of the Toad

A German art historian and a Polish art restorer find adventure and love in the cemetery business. Their vision is to offer plots in Gdansk to those Germans who had been exiled after World War II. A New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Line drawings by the Author. Translated by Ralph Manheim. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

My Century

G nter Grass tells us a story for every year of our century. He writes of great events and seemingly trivial occurrences, of technical developments and scientific discoveries, of achievements in culture and sports, of megalomania, of persecution and murder, of war and disasters, and of new beginnings. Although each story has a different narrator, collectively the stories form a complete and linear narrative in which the individual is the focus. As the sequence unfolds, a lively and rich picture emerges, an historical portrait of this millennium in all its grandeur and in all its horror. One hundred stories come full circle to create a novel of our century.

Too Far Afield

Two old men roam through Berlin observing life in the former German Democratic Republic after the fall of the Wall in 1989. The men are Theo Wuttke, a former East German cultural functionary, keen observer, and gifted speaker; and Ludwig Hoftaller, a mid level spy who can serve the Prussian police, or the Gestapo, or the East German Stasi with equal dedication. Both men are employed by the Treuhand the agency in charge of privatizing former East German state enterprises which occupies the building in Berlin that was once the headquarters of Goering’s Air Ministry. Wuttke, in his capacity as file courier, desperately tries to save the old fashioned elevator, which has carried the famous and powerful up and down again. And he comforts the disheartened head of the agency, who seeks relief from the burdens of office by roller skating around the corridors at night. This novel will stand as perhaps the most complex and challenging exploration of what Germany’s recent reunification will mean for Germans, for Europeans, for the world. Grass writes with the wit, fantasy, literary erudition, and political acerbity for which he is celebrated. And in his inimitable fashion, he tells a deeply human story laced with pain and humor in equal measure.


G nter Grass has been wrestling with Germany’s past for decades now, but no book since The Tin Drum has generated as much excitement as this engrossing account of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff. A German cruise ship turned refugee carrier, it was attacked by a Soviet submarine in January 1945. Some 9,000 people went down in the Baltic Sea, making it the deadliest maritime disaster of all time. Born to an unwed mother on a lifeboat the night of the attack, Paul Pokriefke is a middle aged journalist trying to piece together the tragic events. While his mother sees her whole existence in terms of that calamitous moment, Paul wishes their life could have been less touched by the past. For his teenage son, who dabbles in the dark, far right corners of the Internet, the Gustloff embodies the denial of Germany’s wartime suffering. ‘Scuttling backward to move forward,’ Crabwalk is at once a captivating tale of a tragedy at sea and a fearless examination of the ways different generations of Germans now view their past. Winner of the Nobel Prize

Four Plays

Flood; Mister, Mister; Only Ten Minutes to Buffalo; The Wicked Cooks. Short plays belonging to the Theatre of the Absurd. Introduction by Marin Esslin. Translated by Ralph Manheim and A. Leslie Willson. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book.

The Gunter Grass Reader

Selected from the vast range of his work, the writings included in this anthology trace G nter Grass’s development as a writer, and with it the history of a nation coming to terms with its past. Excerpts from Grass’s major novels from The Tin Drum to Crabwalk are included, as are numerous short fictions, essays, and poems, many of which have never appeared before in English. Grass’s gifts as an observer of and participant in the social and political landscape are justly celebrated, as are his inimitable sense of humor, his consistent defense of the disadvantaged, and his mastery of the forms of expression he has employed over the years. For readers in search of an introduction to his work or for those familiar primarily with his novels, this diverse collection offers a fresh and stimulating introduction to one of the world’s greatest living writers.

The Box

A fictionalized autobiographical account recalling J. M. Coetzee’s Summertime and Umberto Eco’s The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana The Box is an inspired and daring work of fiction. In its candor, wit, and earthiness, it is Nobel Prize winner Gunter Grass at his best. ”Once upon a time there was a father who, because he had grown old, called together his sons and daughters four, five, six, eight in number and finally convinced them, after long hesitation, to do as he wished. Now they are sitting around a table and begin to talk…
” In a great literary experiment, Nobel Prize winner Gunter Grass writes in the voices of his eight children as they record memories of their childhoods, of growing up, and of their father, who was always at work on a new book, always at the margins of their lives. Memories contradictory, critical, loving, accusatory they piece together an intimate picture of this most public of men, a shadowy but loving figure. There is one constant though: Marie, a family friend and photographer whose snapshots taken with an old fashioned Agfa box camera provide the author with inspiration for his novels. But her images offer much more; they reveal a truth beyond the ordinary detail of life, depict the future, tell what might have been, and grant the wishes, in visual form, of those photographed. Marie’s camera thus becomes a way for Grass to speak in the voices of his children’s hidden selves their dreams, their disappointments, their secret desires and fears and to see his own life from unexpected perspectives.


A play that satirizes the political confusions of both youthful activists and middle aged believers in gradual reform. Translated by A. Leslie Willson and Ralph Manheim. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book.

Speak Out!

Political opinons of Germany’s foremost novelist, poet, and dramatist. Translated by Ralph Manheim. Introduction by Michael Harrington. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book.

From the Diary of a Snail

The German novelist’s experiences campaigning for Willy Brandt provide a portrait of Grass the family man, writer, and concerned citizen, and a meditation on his nation’s history and civilization’s progress. Translated by Ralph Manheim. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book.


Harm and D rte Peters, the quintessential couple, are on vacation in Asia. But wherever they are, they can’t get away from the political upheaval back home. With irony and wit, Grass takes aim at capitalism, communism, religion even reproduction; nothing escapes unscathed. Translated by Ralph Manheim. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

On Writing and Politics, 1967-83

Grass novelist, poet, and graphic artist is also a committed political activist. In this collection of essays, he takes on writing and politics with his accustomed verve and insight. Introduction by Salman Rushdie. Translated by Ralph Manheim. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

Show Your Tongue

A record of the author’s stay in Calcutta from August 1987 to January 1988. A stunning document in Grass’s own words and drawings. Translated by John E. Woods. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

Peeling the Onion

In this extraordinary memoir, Nobel Prize winning author G nter Grass remembers his early life, from his boyhood in a cramped two room apartment in Danzig through the late 1950s, when his book 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.

Related Authors

Leave a Comment