Peeling the Onion by Gunter Grass
A Memoir

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Synopsis

In this extraordinary memoir, Nobel Prize–winning author Gunter 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 Gunter Grass

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G?NTER GRASS was born in Danzig, Germany, in 1927. He is the widely acclaimed author of numerous books, including The Tin Drum, My Century, Crabwalk, and Peeling the Onion. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999.
 
Published June 25, 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 432 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, History, Travel, Business & Economics. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Peeling the Onion

Kirkus Reviews

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Employing both first- and third-person narration, Grass pictures himself as an idealistic naïf who slowly developed a mature political conscience, as he emerged from the war unharmed, worked in a potash mine, then apprenticed to first a stone-cutter then a sculptor, traveled and absorbed culture ...

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The New York Times

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It was October 1995 — not long after the famous cover photograph on Der Spiegel of that senile tyrant but celebrated critic, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, ripping apart Grass’s novel “Ein Weites Feld.” (Some journalists in Germany resented the marketing of Grass’s “Too Far Afield” as a political novel ab...

Jul 08 2007 | Read Full Review of Peeling the Onion: A Memoir

The Guardian

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Peeling the Onion by Günter Grass, translated by Michael Henry Heim 425pp, Harvill Secker, £18.99 Bertolt Brecht has a famous poem from 1933, "Germany, pale mother" (Helma Sanders-Brahms later used the words as the title for a film).

Jul 07 2007 | Read Full Review of Peeling the Onion: A Memoir

The Guardian

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Peeling the Onion by Gunter Grass Harvill Secker £18.99, pp432 This is a book torn between the desire to confess and the need to obscure.

Jun 24 2007 | Read Full Review of Peeling the Onion: A Memoir

Publishers Weekly

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Grass\x92s memoir of his wartime activity, including the scandalous revelation that he had served in the notorious Waffen SS as a teenager, is shocking enough.

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Open Letters Monthly

Since the majority of reviews are vague on the details of the German attacks on Grass, it’s useful to see Timothy Garton Ash reviewing the memoir along with the documentary record and a collection of poetry Grass wrote last year during the Dummer August (“Stupid August”) of the outcry.

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http://www.citypaper.com

in the New York Times Book Review, Sunday July 8, 2007 In an era when daily newspapers are downsizing book review sections--or gutting them altogether--it's more than heartening to see the Gray Lady let John Irving unwind for more than 4,400 words on Gunther Grass' memoir in its Sunday book review.

Jul 11 2007 | Read Full Review of Peeling the Onion: A Memoir

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