Born in 1965, Wolfgang Herrndorf originally worked as a painter and illustrator before starting to write novels. He had his literary breakthrough in 2010 with Tschick, which has sold more than a million copies in Germany. By this point he was already suffering from an incurable brain tumour. He continued to write for the next few years, completing Sand, which won the 2012 Leipzig Book Fair prize. He also documented his experiences of fighting his illness on a blog, Arbeit and Struktur, which was later published in book form. In 2013 he took his own life.