|About the Book|
Siegfried Lenz (born 17 March 1926 in Lyck (Ełk), East Prussia- died 7 October 2014 in Hamburg, Germany) was a German writer who has written twelve novels and produced several collections of short stories, essays, and plays for radio and the theatre. He was awarded the Goethe Prize in Frankfurt-am-Main on the 250th Anniversary of Johann Wolfgang von Goethes birth. Lenz and his wife, Liselotte, also exchanged over 100 letters with Paul Celan and his wife, Gisèle Lestrange between 1952 and 1961.Siegfried Lenz, was a son of a customs officer in Lyck (Elk), East Prussia. After his graduation exam in 1943, he was drafted into the navy.According to documents released in June 2007, he may have joined the Nazi party on the 12th of July 1943.Shortly before the end of World War II, he defected to Denmark, but became a prisoner of war in Schleswig-Holstein.After his release, he attended the University of Hamburg, where he studied philosophy, English, and Literary history. His studies were cut off early, however, as he became an intern for the daily paper Die Welt, and served as its editor from 1950 to 1951. It was there he met his future wife, Liselotte (d. February 5, 2006). They were married in 1949.Since 1951, Lenz worked as a freelance writer in Hamburg and was a member of the literature forum Group 47. Together with Günter Grass, he became engaged with the Social Democratic Party and aided the Ostpolitik of Willy Brandt. A champion of the movement, he was invited in 1970 to the signing of the German-Polish Treaty.Since 2003, Lenz has been a visiting professor at the Düsseldorf Heinrich Heine University and a member of the organization for German orthography and proper speech.In 1951, Lenz took the money he had earned from his first novel, Habichte in der Luft, and financed a trip to Kenya. During his time there, he wrote about the Mau-Mau Rebellion in his history Lukas, sanftmüdiger Knecht.