Peeling the Onion, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


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 Gunter Grass' finest works.

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


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: literary
  • ISBN: 9780099507598



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Günter Grass is one of the best novelists to come out of Germany. In PEELING THE ONION, Grass’ memoir of his life up until the 1959 publishing of his first major novel, THE TIN DRUM, he reflects on the objects, people, and situations that ultimately wove their way into his stories. As in the peeling of an onion, one layer leads to the next, but all are part and parcel of the whole, which is his life.<br/><br/>It helps if one is familiar with Grass’ writings before reading this memoir. I myself have read THE TIN DRUM, and I found this memoir fascinating in the revelations of what was behind some of the details in that wonderful story. The style is almost free-flowing reminiscing, but in the end Grass masterfully wraps it all together as if carefully closing up the onion layers he had slowly peeled away.<br/><br/>I love Grass’ writing. It feels like he is speaking directly to me. It’s as if we were talking over a cup of coffee. He isn’t a perfect man and he expects us to understand that without having to make excuses. I’m so glad he wrote this book!

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