Michael Ende (1929-1995) was post-war Germany's most successful writer of children's books. His father was a surrealist painter banned by the Nazi regime. Michael worked as an actor, film reviewer and political sketch writer and his first children's book was published in 1960. He was criticised for filling children's heads with escapist, fantasy stories instead of confronting them with the social realism that was believed in at the time. The attacks hurt him and he moved to Rome to live in 1971.
He wrote 30 books, not all were translated into English. His most successful titles in the UK are Momo and The Neverending Story, both of which were made into successful films.