The announcement by the Swedish Academy brought a smile from the 71-year-old author. Â"I'm happy,Â" he told journalists after emerging with his wife and dog from his house in Behlendorf in northern Germany.
The academy cited Grass' first novel, The Tin Drum, which recreates his hometown, Danzig, in the years before the war.
An Imaginary Nobel
Â"It is not too audacious to assume that The Tin Drum will become one of the enduring literary works of the 20th century,Â" the academy said.
Grass is considered one of the most significant and controversial authors to emerge in Germany after World War II, establishing his reputation with The Tin Drum, Cat and Mouse and Dog Years.
The three works, collectively known as The Danzig Trilogy, capture the German reaction to the rise of Nazism, the horrors of war, and the guilt that has lingered in the aftermath of Adolf Hitler's regime.
Â"In his excavation of the past Günter Grass goes deeper than most and he unearths the intertwined roots of good and evil,Â" the academy said. Â"As Dog Years puts it: Â'While God was still at school, in the heavenly playground he came up with the idea of creating the world, together with his schoolmate, the talented little Devil.Â'Â"
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