Michael Ende was born in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, in 1929. After attending drama school from 1948 to 1950, he worked variously as an actor, a writer of sketches and plays, a director of the Volkstheater in Munich, and a film critic for the Bavarian broadcasting company. His first novel for children, Jim Knopf and Lukas the Engine Driver, was published in Germany in 1960 to great popular and critical acclaim, and both radio and televsion series based on the Jim Knopf books were soon produced. In 1973 he published another award-winning children's novel, Momo. When The Neverending Story was first published in Germany in 1979 it immediately became the number-one bestseller arnd remained in that position for three years. It has since been published in many different languages all over the world, including Japanese, and has enchanted readers in each country in which it has appeared.