|Gunter Grass was born in 1927 into a middle-class Polish-German family in Danzig-Langfuhr (now Gdansk, Poland). During World War II, he served in the German army; he was wounded and imprisoned by the Americans until 1946. Grass studied art and sculpture after the war, and only began writing seriously when his wife entered one of his poems in a contest. His first novel, THE TIN DRUM (1959), a satire of Germany before and after the war, was an immediate success; it was the first volume of a trilogy that also includes CAT AND MOUSE (1961) and DOG YEARS (1963). Grass is an accomplished lithographer, and much of his prose is illustrated with his own interpretations of the narrative. All his novels, as well as several plays and volumes of poetry, reflect his liberal politics and social activism, but he lost many admirers when he came out strongly against German unification in the early 1990s. Grass was the recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature. He again caused an uproar in 2006 when he confessed to serving as a teenager in the combat wing of the Nazi Schutzstaffel. Gunter Grass died in a clinic in the town of Lubeck, Germany in 2015.