(1949- ) German writer and playwright, best-known in English for Das Parfum: die Geschichte eines Moerders (1985; trans John E Woods as Perfume: The Story of a Murderer 1986 UK), a mordant tale of an 18th-century French orphan whose preternaturally acute sense of smell leads to obsession and serial murder (> Serial Killers); it won the World Fantasy Award in 1987. Die Taube (1987 chap; trans John E Woods as The Pigeon 1988 US) tells of a man whose uneventful life is shaken to its foundations when he encounters a pigeon outside his hallway. Both works evoke the ineffable in the particulars of the phenomenal world, which PS dramatizes with grim relish. [GF]
other works (selective): Der Kontrabass (1984 chap; trans Michael Hofmann as The Double Bass 1987 UK), a play; Die Geschichte von Herrn Sommer (1991; trans John E Woods as The Story of Mr Sommer 1992 UK; vt Mr Summer's Story 1993 US).