Hermann Hesse (July 2, 1877 -- August 9, 1962) was a German poet, novelist, essayist and painter. His best-known works included Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, each of which explores an individual's search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. Hess publicly announced his views on the savagery of World War I, and was considered a traitor. He moved to Switzerland where he eventually became a naturalized citizen. He warned of the advent of World War II, predicting that cultureless efficiency would destroy the modern world. His theme was usually the conflict between the elements of a person's dual nature and the problem of spiritual loneliness. His first novel, Peter Camenzind, was published in 1904. His masterpiece, Death and the Lover (1930), contrasts a scholarly abbot and his beloved pupil, who leaves the monastery for the adventurous world. Steppenwolf (1927), a European bestseller, was published when defeated Germany had begun to plan for another war. It is the story of Haller, who recognizes in himself the blend of the human and wolfish traits of the completely sterile scholarly project. During the 1960s Hesse became a favorite writer of the counter culture, especially in the United States, though his critical reputation has never equaled his popularity. Hermann Hesse died in 1962.
Tom Robbins is a writer, novelist, editor, and journalist. He was born in Blowing Rock, North Carolina on July 22, 1936. Robbins studied journalism at Washington and Lee for two years and later graduated from the Richmond Professional Institute in 1961. He attended the Graduate School of Far Eastern Studies at the University of Washington. From 1957 to 1960, Robbins served in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Korea as a meteorologist. During his years in the service he took courses in Japanese culture and aesthetics in Tokyo. After the military, Robbins took a job as a copy editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Robbins later worked as feature editor and art critic at the Seattle Times and part time at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Robbins published the novel, Another Roadside Attraction in 1971. Other books include Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Still Life With Woodpecker. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues was made into a 1996 film directed by Gus Van Sant. Robbins has also acted in such films as Made in Heaven and Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. A documentary entitled, Tom Robbins: A Writer in the Rain was made in 1997. In 2014, his title Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life, made The New York Times Best Seller List.