The German writer Leonhard Frank (W'rburg, 1882–Munich, 1961) sets his own novel autobiography in Germany in the early 20th century; he experienced the crises of the two World Wars and the period between the wars, without forgetting his time in exile.
Young Michael Vierkant is the writer's alter ego. Of humble origin, he carried out multiple jobs: mechanic, chauffeur, wide brush painter, hospital warden, etc. When he was working as a blacksmith, he discovered his artistic inclination, and left home. His dream was to become an artist. Being just a teenager, he lands in Munich where he discovers the atmosphere of bars, painters of the time, etc. Motivated by his talent for painting he studied Fine Arts in Munich, and in 1910 he settled in Berlin; He comes to know the bohemian, intellectual and cultural life, and above everything else he meets Lisa, who is ill and will become the love of his life, as well as a decisive aspect for his career.
The writer claims that Café Stefanie was his university, due to the level of the get togethers: philosophical and literary conversations, etc. Although he achieved triumphs as a painter (nudity was in vogue), he saw that painting was not his mode of expression. He starts writing. His first work is The Robber Band which was a success; Lisa helped him with the corrections. But the World Wars will come and everything will be difficult; despite the adversity, he never stopped writing. He is a person with enormous willpower, tenacity and courage. The beginnings of the twentieth century are treated with quite sensuality and there are some explicit errotic notes.