WOLFGANG KOEPPEN was born in 1906 and died ninety years later in Munich. A journalist for left-wing papers in Weimar Berlin, he spent the early Nazi period in the Netherlands, returning in the war years to work for the film company that produced Fritz Lang's Metropolis. He published five novels, two in the 1930s and three in the 1950s. In 1962 he won the Büchner Prize, Germany's most prestigious literary award. He is the author of The Hothouse and A Sad Affair, both translated by Michael Hofmann and published by Granta Books. He is now recognized as a giant of European literature.