A recipient of both the Goethe Prize and the Gottfried Keller Prize, Carossa is remembered for autobiographical works such as Rumanisches Tagebuch (A Romanian Diary) (1924) and Eine Kindheit (A Childhood) (1922).
He published his first poem, "Stella Mystica," at the age of twenty-eight. Around this time, he was also studying medicine; during the World War I years, he worked as an army physician.
His 1924 work Rumanisches Tagebuch was financially successful enough that it allowed him to part with his medical career and more fully pursue a literary life.
He was born in Bad Tolz, Kingdom of Bavaria, to a family of Northern Italian heritage. He and his sister, Stephanie, were the children of a physician and medical researcher father.
Following the World War II era, Carossa became infamous for having been president of the Europaische Schriftstellervereinigung, a literary organization established by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.