Michael Andreas Helmuth Ende was a German writer of fantasy and children's literature. He was the son of the surrealist painter Edgar Ende. He died in Stuttgart (Germany) of stomach cancer.
Ende was one of the most popular and famous German authors of the 20th century, mostly due to the enormous success of his children's books. However, Ende was not strictly a children’s author, as he also wrote books for adults. Ende claimed, "It is for this child in me, and in all of us, that I tell my stories," and that "[my books are] for any child between 80 and 8 years" (qtd. Senick 95, 97). Ende’s writing could be described as a surreal mixture of reality and fantasy. The reader is often invited to take a more interactive role in the story, and the worlds in his books often mirror our reality, using fantasy to bring light to the problems of an increasingly technological modern society.
Ende was also known as a proponent of economic reform, and claimed to have had the concept of aging money in mind when writing Momo. He was interested in and influenced by anthroposophy.
Die unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story) is Ende's best known work. Other books include Momo and Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer (Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver). Michael Ende's works have been translated into more than 40 languages and sold more than 20 million copies, and have been adapted into motion pictures, stage plays, operas and audio books.