Peter Schneider was born in Lubeck in 1940 and grew up in southern Germany. He has greatly contributed to the literary and cultural life of Germany over the last four decades. After finishing his studies in German, History, and Philosophy in 1964, Schneider became a central figure in the 1968 Student Protest Movements in Berlin and Turin, Italy. After completing his Staatsexamen in higher education, Schneider began his career as a writer with his novel Lenz, a retelling of Buchner's novella.
After the success of Lenz in Germany, over twenty other novels, screenplays, and volumes of journalistic essays followed, including the English translated works Der Mauerspringer (The Wall Jumper, 1984), Extreme Mittelage (The German Comedy,1990), Paarungen (Couplings, 1996), and Eduards Heimkehr (Edward's Homecoming, 2000). Schneider's screenplays were filmed by Reinhard Hauff-Messer im Kopf (Knife in the Head) and Margarethe von Trotta - Das Versprechen (The Promise).
His essays can be found in Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, The New York Times, Time Magazine, and Le Monde.
His most recent novel Skylla, was published in March.