This book traces a longstanding concern with issues of authorship throughout the work of Gunter Grass, Germany's best-known contemporary writer and public intellectual. Through detailed close-readings of all of his major literary works from 1970 onwards and careful analysis of his politicalwritings from 1965 to 2005, it argues that Grass's tendency to insert clearly recognisable self-images into his literary texts represents a coherent and calculated reaction to his constant exposure in the media-led public sphere. It underlines the degree of play which has characterised Grass'srelationship to this sphere and himself as part of it and explains how a concern with the very concept of authorship has conditioned the way his work as a whole has developed on both thematic and structural levels. The major achievement of this study is to develop a new interpretative paradigm forGrass's work. It explains for the first time how his playful tendency to manipulate his own authorial image conditions all levels of his texts and is equally manifest in literary and political realms.