File - The Oct. 15, 2009 photo shows Grass during an interview with journalists of the Associated Press in the library of Steidl publishers in Goettingen, Germany. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
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Guenter Grass, the Nobel-winning German writer who gave voice to the generation that came of age during the horrors of the Nazi era but later ran into controversy over his own World War II past and stance toward Israel, has died.The books return again and again to Danzig, where Grass was born on Oct. 16, 1927, the son of a grocer."The Tin Drum" became an overnight success – a fact that Grass told the Associated Press in 2009 surprised him. Asked to reflect why the book became so popular, he noted that it tackles one of the most daunting periods of German history by focusing on the minutiae in the lives of ordinary people.Three decades after its release, in 1999, the Swedish Academy honored Grass with the Nobel Prize for literature, praising him for setting out to revive German literature after the Nazi era.Grass untiringly warned his compatriots to remain vigilant against racism.Grass received several honorary degrees, including an honorary doctorate from Harvard University in 1976 .Citing his secretary, Hilke Ohsoling, German news agency dpa reported that Grass died surrounded by his family after coming down with a serious infection.
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