Patrick Suskind was born in 1949. He studied history in Munich and was a writer for television before he wrote Perfume. His second novel, The Pidgeon, later adapted as a play, was first staged at teh BAC Theater in London in May 1993. His play The Double Bass was first staged in Munich in 1981 and has since become one of the most performed plays in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. It has also been performed at the Edinburgh Festival and at the Royal National Theatre in London. His novella The Story of Mr Sommer (1992) has, like Perfume, been a huge success all over the world, and his Three Stories and a Reflection was published in 1996. Patrick Suskind lives in Munich.
Upon its publication last year in Germany Susskind's first novel Perfume immediately became an international best seller. Set in 18th-century France, Perfume relates the fascinating and horrifying tale of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a person as gifted as he was abominable. Born without a smell of his own but endowed with an extraordinary sense of smell, Grenouille becomes obsessed with procuring the perfect scent that will make him fully human. With brilliant narrative skill Susskind exposes the dark underside of the society through which Grenouille moves and explores the disquieting inner universe of this singularly possessed man. The translation is superb. Essential for literature collections. Ulrike S. Rettig, German Dept., Wellesley Coll., Wellesley, Mass.