Patrick Süskind (born 26 March 1949) is a German writer and screenwriter.
He was born in Ambach am Starnberger See, near Munich in Germany. Patrick Süskind went to school in Holzhausen, a little Bavarian village. Süskind has many relatives from the aristocracy in Württemberg, making him one of the descendants of the exegete Johann Albrecht Bengel and of the reformer Johannes Brenz. After his Abitur and his Zivildienst, he studied Medieval and Modern History at the University of Munich and in Aix-en-Provence from 1968-1974. Süskind also attended lessons in English, Spanish, Latin, Greek, Politics, Art and Theology but, apparently, never graduated. Financially supported by his parents, he moved to Paris where he wrote "mainly short, unpublished fiction and longer screenplays which were not made into films" as he once said self-deprecatingly.
In 1981 he had his breakthrough with the play Der Kontrabaß (The Double Bass), which was originally conceived as a radio play. In the season 1984/85 the play was performed more than 500 times, the German language play performed most that season. The only role is a tragi-comical orchestral musician, who has so many problems with his instrument and his insignificance that he falls into nagging fatalism. In the 1980s Süskind was also successful as a screenwriter for the TV productions Monaco Franze (1983) and Kir Royal (1987), among others. For his screenplay of Rossini, directed by Helmut Dietl he gained the Screenplay Prize of the German Department for Culture in 1996. He rejected other awards, like the respectable FAZ-Literaturpreis by a conservative German newspaper, the Tukanpreis and the Gutenbergpreis.
His best-known work is the internationally acclaimed bestseller Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (1985). This was made into a film in 2006 by Tom Tykwer and is the only story of his to have reached the cinema to date. With more than 12 million copies sold and translations into 46 languages, he is probably the most well-known contemporary German writer in the world. His novel was on the bestselling list of the German weekly news magazine "Der Spiegel" for nine years. He is also the author of a novella, The Pigeon (1988), The Story of Mr. Sommer (1991), Three Stories and a Reflection (1996), and a collection of essays, On Love and Death (2006).
Süskind lives reclusively in Munich, in Seeheim (Lake Starnberg) and in France (probably Paris and Montolieu). The public knows little about Süskind currently. He has withdrawn from the literary scene in Germany and never grants interviews or allows photos.