The Greatest Books Written by German Authors

  1. 1 . The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

    The Magic Mountain is a novel by Thomas Mann, first published in November 1924. It is widely considered to be one of the most influential works of 20th century German literature.

  2. 2 . Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust is a tragic play, although more appropriately it should be defined a tragicomedy, despite the very title of the work. It was published in two parts: Faust. Der Tr...

  3. 3 . The Tin Drum by Günter Grass

    Acclaimed as the greatest German novel written since the end of World War II, The Tin Drum is the autobiography of thirty-year-old Oskar Matzerath, who has lived through the long Nazi nightmare and...

  4. 4 . Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann

    Doctor Faustus is a German novel written by Thomas Mann, begun in 1943 and published in 1947 as Doktor Faustus: Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde ("Doct...

  5. 5 . All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

    All Quiet on the Western Front (German: Im Westen nichts Neues) is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I. The book describes the German soldiers' extreme physical and men...

  6. 6 . Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann

    Buddenbrooks was Thomas Mann's first novel, published in 1901 when he was twenty-six years old. It portrays the downfall (already announced in the subtitle, Decline of a family) of a wealthy mer...

  7. 7 . Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald

    Austerlitz, the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by "one of the most gripping writers imaginable" (The New York Review of Books), is the story of a man?s search for the answer to his life?s ce...

  8. 8 . Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin

    The story concerns a small-time criminal, Franz Biberkopf, fresh from prison, who is drawn into the underworld. When his criminal mentor murders the prostitute whom Biberkopf has been relying on as...

  9. 9 . Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse

    Steppenwolf (orig. German Der Steppenwolf) is the tenth novel by German-Swiss author Hermann Hesse. Originally published in Germany in 1927, it was first translated into English in 1929. Combining ...

  10. 10 . Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

    Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None (German: Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen) is a philosophical novel by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, composed in four ...

  11. 11 . Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

    Classic novel that has inspired generations of seekers. Blending Eastern mysticism and psychoanalysis, Hesse presents a strikingly original view of man and culture and the arduous process of self-d...

    - Google
  12. 12 . Household Tales by Brothers Grimm

    Children's and Household Tales (German: Kinder- und Hausmärchen) is a collection of German origin fairy tales first published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the Brothers Grimm. The collection ...

    - Google
  13. 13 . Death in Venice by Thomas Mann

    The novella Death in Venice was written by the German author Thomas Mann, and was first published in 1912 as Der Tod in Venedig. It was first published in English in 1925 as Death in Venice and Oth...

  14. 14 . Anniversaries by Uwe Johnson

    A translation of the first two volumes of Uwe Johnson's Jahrestage.

    - Google
  15. 15 . The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    The Sorrows of Young Werther is an epistolary and loosely autobiographical novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, first published in 1774; a revised edition of the novel was published in 1787. Werthe...

  16. 16 . Perfume by Patrick Suskind

    Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer: this is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: a sense of smell more ...

    - Google
  17. 17 . The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse

    In an unspecified future symbolic world of the twenty-third century, Joseph Knecht achieves and rejects his long-sought ideal of uniting thought and action in isolated Castalia, where scholar-playe...

    - Google
  18. 18 . Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg

    Gottfried's work is regarded, alongside Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival and the Nibelungenlied, as one of the great narrative masterpieces of the German Middle Ages.

  19. 19 . Simplicius Simplicissimus by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen

    Simplicius Simplicissimus (German: Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch) is a picaresque novel of the lower Baroque style, written in 1668 by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen and prob...

    - Google
  20. 20 . Hyperion by Friedrich Holderlin

    Hyperion is a novel of stirring lyricism, philosophical sublimity, and enduring influence. It stands among Hölderlin’s most extraordinary achievements. A Greek hermit recounts the pivotal phases of...

    - Google
  21. 21 . Elective Affinities by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Elective Affinities (German: Die Wahlverwandtschaften), also translated under the title Kindred by Choice, is the third novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, published in 1809. The title is taken fr...

  22. 22 . The Stechlin by Theodor Fontane

    First English translation of the final work of Theodor Fontane, one of Germany's most significant novelists.

    - Google
  23. 23 . The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr by E. T. A. Hoffmann

    Tomcat Murr is a loveable, self-taught animal who has written his own autobiography. But a printer's error causes his story to be accidentally mixed and spliced with a book about the composer Johan...

    - Google
  24. 24 . The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

    Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape ...

    - Google
  25. 25 . Michael Kohlhaas by Heinrich von Kleist

    "You can send me to the scaffold, but I can make you suffer, and I mean to." Based on actual historic events, this thrilling saga of violence and retribution bridged the gap between medieval and mo...

    - Google
  26. 26 . Professor Unrat by Heinrich Mann

    Professor Unrat (1905, trans. by Ernest Boyd as Small Town Tyrant), which translates as "Professor Garbage," is one of the most important works of Heinrich Mann and has achieved notoriety through f...

    - Google
  27. 27 . The German Lesson by Siegfried Lenz

    While in an institution for delinquent boys, Siggi Jepsen writes about his life in wartime Germany and his relationship with a painter of international reputation who was betrayed by his father.

    - Google
  28. 28 . Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (German: Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre) is the second novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, published in 1795–96. - Wikipedia

    - Google
  29. 29 . Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane

    Unworldly young Effi Briest is married off to Baron von Innstetten, an austere and ambitious civil servant twice her age, who has little time for his new wife. Isolated and bored, Effi finds comfor...

    - Google
  30. 30 . The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Böll

    The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, Or: How Violence Develops and Where It Can Lead was written by Heinrich Boll, one of Germany's most prolific postwar writers. Although Boll insisted that his char...

    - Google
  31. 31 . Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin by Friedrich Holderlin

    Poetry. Translated from the German by James Mitchell. Readers of these carefully crafted translations by James Mitchell will profit not only by their economy and clarity of expression, but also by ...

    - Google
  32. 32 . The Emigrants by Winfried Georg Sebald

    Four narratives weave history and fiction together as refugees from the Holocaust remember their experiences.

    - Google
  33. 33 . Germany, a Winter Tale by Heinrich Heine

    This historic bilingual edition presents Heine's German text in a version dating from 1887 and a translation by Edgar Alfred Bowring from the same year. The original work, published in 1844, was ba...

    - Google
  34. 34 . Demian by Hermann Hesse

    Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair's Youth is a Bildungsroman by Hermann Hesse, first published in 1919; a prologue was added in 1960. Demian was first published under the pseudonym "Emil Sinclair"...

  35. 35 . The Invention of Curried Sausage by Uwe Timm

    The Invention of Curried Sausage is a novella by German author Uwe Timm detailing the fictionalized invention of curried sausage in Germany, as well as describing life in Hamburg in post-war German...

  36. 36 . Dog Years by Günter Grass

    Dog Years (Hundejahre) is a novel by Günter Grass. It was first published in Germany in 1963. Its English translation, by Ralph Manheim, was first published in 1965. It is the third and last volume...

  37. 37 . Patterns of Childhood by Christa Wolf

    Patterns of Childhood, originally published as Kindheitsmuster in German, is a book written by Christa Wolf and published in 1976. Christa Wolf was a prominent East German novellist known for works...

  38. 38 . The Parable of the Blind by Gert Hofmann

    Der Blindensturz (1985) (translated as The Parable of the Blind) is the title of short novel in ten chapters by German writer Gert Hofmann. Inspired by Parabel der Blinden (1568), a painting by Ne...

  39. 39 . Group Portrait with Lady by Heinrich Böll

    Group Portrait with Lady (German: Gruppenbild mit Dame) is a novel by Nobel Prize winning author Heinrich Böll, published in 1971. The novel centers around a woman named Leni, and her friends, foes...

  40. 40 . Anton Reiser by Karl Philipp Moritz

    Anton Reiser is a psychological novel by Karl Philipp Moritz , of which the first three parts appeared in Berlin from 1785 to 1786. The fourth and last part appeared in 1790.

  41. 41 . The Glass Bees by Ernst Jünger

    The Glass Bees (German: Gläserne Bienen) is a 1957 science fiction novel written by German author Ernst Jünger. The novel follows two days in the life of Captain Richard, an unemployed ex-cavalryma...

  42. 42 . Joseph and His Brothers by Thomas Mann

    Joseph and His Brothers (Joseph und seine Brüder) is a four-part novel by Thomas Mann, written over the course of 16 years. Mann retells the familiar stories of Genesis, from Jacob to Joseph (chapt...

  43. 43 . The Quest for Christa T. by Christa Wolf

    The Quest for Christa T. (Nachdenken über Christa T.) is a 1968 novel by German writer Christa Wolf that follows two childhood friends from the second World War into the 1960s in East Germany. Styl...

  44. 44 . The Case of Sergeant Grischa by Arnold Zweig

    The Case of Sergeant Grischa (1927) is a war novel by the German writer Arnold Zweig. Its original German title is Der Streit um den Sergeanten Grischa. It is part of Zweig's hexalogy Der große Kri...

  45. 45 . Vertigo by W. G. Sebald

    Vertigo (German: Schwindel. Gefühle.) is a 1990 novel by the German author W. G. Sebald. The first of its four sections is a short but conventional biography of Stendhal, who is referred to not by ...

  46. 46 . Billiards at Half-Past Nine by Heinrich Böll

    Billiards at Half-Past Nine (German: Billard um halb zehn) is a 1959 novel by the German author Heinrich Böll. The entirety of the narrative takes place on the day of September 6, 1958 but the stor...

  47. 47 . The Swarm by Frank Schatzing

    Whales begin sinking ships. Toxic, eyeless crabs poison Long Island's water supply. The North Sea shelf collapses, killing thousands in Europe. Around the world, countries are beginning to feel the...

    - Google
  48. 48 . Jacob the Liar by Jurek Becker

    Jacob the Liar is a novel written by the East German Jewish author Jurek Becker published in 1969. The German original title is Jakob der Lügner. Becker was awarded the Heinrich-Mann Prize (1971) a...

  49. 49 . Couples, Passersby by Botho Strauß

    Couples, Passersby (German: Paare, Passanten) is a 1981 short story collection by the German writer Botho Strauß. It consists of narrative vignettes and aphoristic sequences divided into six sectio...

  50. 50 . Transit by Anna Seghers

    Transit is a novel set in 1942, by Anna Seghers.

  51. 51 . The Hothouse by Wolfgang Koeppen

    Set in Bonn, the capital city of postwar Germany, follows sophisticated idealist Keetenheuve after he returns to Germany following his self-imposed exile, as his entrance into politics leads to his...

    - Google
  52. 52 . The Blind Side of the Heart by Julia Franck

    Amid the chaos of civilians fleeing West in a provincial German railway station in 1945 Helene has brought her seven-year-old son. Having survived with him through the horrors and deprivations of t...

    - Google
  53. 53 . Death in Rome by Wolfgang Koeppen

    Death in Rome (German: Der Tod in Rom) is a 1954 German novel novel by Wolfgang Koeppen. Koeppen belonged to the literary generation of West Germany, which revived the devastated cultural landscape...

  54. 54 . Heinrich of Ofterdingen by Novalis

    Heinrich von Ofterdingen is a fabled, quasi-fictional Middle High German lyric poet and Minnesinger mentioned in the 13th century epic of the Sängerkrieg (minstrel contest) on the Wartburg. The leg...

  55. 55 . Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann

    Measuring the World (German: Die Vermessung der Welt) is a novel by German author Daniel Kehlmann, 2005 published by Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek. The novel re-imagines the lives of German mathematicia...

  56. 56 . The Young Man by Botho Strauß

    The Young Man (German: Der junge Mann) is a 1984 novel by the German writer Botho Strauß. It has a frame story about a man who enters the world of theatre, but the book mainly consists of phantasma...

  57. 57 . The Pigeon by Patrick Suskind

    The Pigeon (German: Die Taube) is a novella by Patrick Süskind about the fictional character Jonathan Noel, a solitary Parisian bank security guard who undergoes an existential crisis when a pigeon...

  58. 58 . Halftime by Martin Walser

    -
  59. 59 . Cat and Mouse by Günter Grass

    Cat and Mouse, published in Germany in 1961 as Katz und Maus, is a novella by Günter Grass, the second book of the Danzig Trilogy, and the sequel to The Tin Drum. It is about Joachim Mahlke, an ali...

  60. 60 . Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht

    Mother Courage and Her Children (German: Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder) is a play written in 1939 by the German dramatist and poet Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) with significant contributions from Ma...

  61. 61 . A Legacy by Sybille Bedford

    "A Legacy is the tale of two very different families. The Merzes are members of the Jewish upper bourgeoisie of Berlin and direct descendants of Henriette Merz, friend of Goethe and Mirabeau. But t...

    - Google
  62. 62 . The Collected Stories of Heinrich Boll by Heinrich Böll

    The definitive short story collection by the Nobel Laureate and master of the form These diverse, psychologically rich, and morally profound stories explore the consequences of war on individuals a...

    - Google
  63. 63 . Siebenkäs by Jean Paul

    Siebenkäs is a German Romantic novel by Jean Paul, published in Berlin in three volumes between 1796-1797. As is common for Romantic novels of the period, the original title Flower, Fruit, and T...

  64. 64 . The Loyal Subject by Heinrich Mann

    Published in 1918, Der Untertan by Heinrich Mann (1871-1950) - previously issued in the United States only in parts under the title "Man of Straw" - is a satirical novel that connects the tradition...

    - Google
  65. 65 . Schatzkästlein des Rheinischen Hausfreundes by Johann Peter Hebel

    The treasure of the Rhine house friend is a collection of stories and calendar stories, Johann Peter Hebel compiled and published in 1811 in Tübingen by Cotta.

    - Google
  66. 66 . Sudelbücher by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

    -
  67. 67 . Stories by Heinrich von Kleist

    New and insightful interpretations of the controversial stories of Heinrich von Kleist.

    - Google
  68. 68 . Stories from the Lord Keuner by Dieter Wöhrle

  69. 69 . And where Were You, Adam? by Heinrich Böll

  70. 70 . The Rings of Saturn by W. G. Sebald

    Shortlisted for the 1998 Los Angeles Times Book Award in Fiction: "Stunning and strange . . . Sebald has done what every writer dreams of doing. . . . The book is like a dream you want to last fore...

    - Google
  71. 71 . Lenz by Georg Buchner

    Lenz, Georg Büchner’s visionary exploration of an 18th-century playwright’s descent into madness, has been called the inception of European modernist prose. Elias Canetti considered this short nove...

    - Google
  72. 72 . The Seventh Cross by Anna Seghers

    Written in 1939, first published in 1942, a national bestseller and a 1943 BOMC Main Selection, The Seventh Cross presented to a still doubtful, naive America a first-hand account of life in Hitler...

    - Google
  73. 73 . Track by Ernst Bloch

    -
  74. 74 . Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

    Heat and Dust (1975) is a novel by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala which won the Booker Prize in 1975. The events of the story take place in India, during the periods of the British Raj in the 1920s and th...

  75. 75 . Galileo by Bertolt Brecht

    Dramatizes Galileo's conflict with the church over his assertion that the Earth revolves around the sun.

    - Google
  76. 76 . The Black Swan by Thomas Mann

    Thomas Mann's bold and disturbing novella, written in 1952, is the feminine counterpart of his masterpiece Death in Venice. Written from the point of view of a woman in what we might now call mid-l...

    - Google
  77. 77 . Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck

    A bestseller in Germany, Visitation has established Jenny Erpenbeck as one of Europe’s most significant contemporary authors. A house on the forested bank of a Brandenburg lake outside Berlin (once...

    - Google
  78. 78 . Alberta empfängt einen Liebhaber by Birgit Vanderbeke

    no translation. Original is in German

    - Google
  79. 79 . The Animals' Conference by Erich Kästner

    FOR a long time the animals had been watching the strange doings of people, and the day finally came when it was just too much for them!" Something had to be done for the world's children caught in...

  80. 80 . Der Fall Mauritius by Jakob Wassermann

  81. 81 . Nathan the Wise by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

    An 18th-century German play about religious tolerance in a terrific new translation.

    - Google
  82. 82 . The Clown by Heinrich Böll

    Through the eyes of a despairing artist, Hans Schneir, who recreates in his pantomimes incidents in people's lives with honesty and compassion, Boll draws a revealing portrait of German society und...

    - Google
  83. 83 . The Good Person of Szechwan by Bertolt Brecht

    Brecht's parable of good and evil was first performed in 1943 and remains one of his most popular and frequently produced plays worldwide. This unique bilingual edition allows students to compare t...

    - Google
  84. 84 . Die neuen Leiden des jungen W. by Ulrich Plenzdorf

    Die neuen Leiden des jungen W. (The new Sorrows of Young W.) is an analytic collage-style novel (montage novel) and play by Ulrich Plenzdorf. - Wikipedia

    - Google
  85. 85 . Don Carlos: Infante of Spain, a Drama in Five Acts by Friedrich Schiller

    Don Carlos (German: Don Karlos, Infant von Spanien) is a (historical) tragedy in five acts by Friedrich Schiller; it was written between 1783 and 1787 and first produced in Hamburg in 1787. The tit...

    - Google
  86. 86 . Success: Three Years in the Life of a Province by Lion Feuchtwanger

    Success is the title of a time novel by Lion Feuchtwanger . The subtitle is Three Years History of a Province . He was born in the years 1927-1930 and appeared in 1930. Together with the novels The...

    - Google
  87. 87 . The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht

    Described by Brecht as 'a gangster play that would recall certain events familiar to us all', The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui is a witty and savage satire of the rise of Hitler – recast by Brech...

    - Google
  88. 88 . The Burden of Our Time by Hannah Arendt

  89. 89 . Women by Charles Bukowski

    Women is a 1978 novel written by Charles Bukowski, starring his semi-autobiographical character Henry Chinaski. In contrast to Factotum, Post Office and Ham on Rye, Women is centered around Chinask...