A 20th and early 21st-century German fiction writer and playwright, he is best known for his 1985 novel, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. He also published a popular 2006 essay collection entitled On Love and Death.
He studied Medieval and Modern History at the University of Munich. In 1981, he published his breakthrough play, The Double Bass.
He became known for his reclusive nature; he never granted interviews or allowed himself to be photographed.
He was born in Ambach, Germany. His father, Wilhelm Emanuel Suskind, was a journalist.
His novel, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, was adapted into a 2006 film starring Ben Whishaw.