Michael Maar, born 1960 in Stuttgart, studied German Studies and Psychology at Bamberg, and has been living in Berlin since 1997, where he works as a freelance writer. Since 1990, he has been writing essays and literary critiques for German-language feuilletons. In 1995, his dissertation »Geister und Kunst. Neuigkeiten aus dem Zauberberg« was awarded with the Johann-Heinrich-Merck Prize of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung, which he himself joined later in 2002. His 2004 discovery of a possible German ›prototype‹ of »Lolita« incited international debates. Maar taught at the German Department of the University of Stanford, was Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and stipendiary of the Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation. Since 2008 he is a member of the Bavarian Academy of the Fine Arts. In 2010 he received the Heinrich Mann Prize of the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts. He is the representative of the Darmstadt Academy in the jury of the Deutscher Literaturfonds, and is also member of the jury of the Kleist Prize.