T he German edition of this memoir by Nobel Prize–winning novelist Grass caused a stir with its revelations about the author's youthful service in the Wa"/>

Peeling the Onion

Gunter Grass, Author, Michael Henry Heim, Translator , trans. from the German by Michael Henry Heim. Harcourt $26 (425p) ISBN 978-0-15-101477-4

T he German edition of this memoir by Nobel Prize–winning novelist Grass caused a stir with its revelations about the author's youthful service in the Waffen SS combat unit during the last months of WWII. According to his deliberately disjointed, impressionistic account of the war, Grass never fired a shot and spent his time fleeing both the Russians and German military police hunting for deserters, but he dutifully shoulders a “joint responsibility” for Nazi war crimes and a guilt and shame that “gnaw, gnaw, ceaselessly.” With less to repudiate in his postwar life as a budding sculptor and poet up to his 1959 breakthrough with The Tin Drum, he grows more engaged in his story as he recounts love affairs, bohemian idylls (he once played in an impromptu jazz quartet with Louis Armstrong) and his attempts to sift emotional wreckage from the past. Along the way, Grass notes people and events that he reworked into fictional characters and plots, and does quirky profiles of influential figures, including his penis and typewriter. In this otherwise very novelistic memoir, there's not much of a narrative arc, beyond the satisfaction of the author's perpetual “hungers” for food, sex and art, but Grass's powerfully evocative memories are spellbinding. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/07/2007
Release date: 06/01/2007
Show other formats
FORMATS
Audio Product - 1 pages - 978-1-4356-7941-2
Hardcover - 425 pages - 978-1-84655-062-1
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61545-802-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-5506-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-3506-6
Paperback - 425 pages - 978-0-15-603534-7
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.