Michael Andreas Helmuth Ende (12 November 1929 - 28 August 1995) was a German author of fantasy and children's literature. He is best known for his epic fantasy work The Neverending Story; other famous works include Momo and Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver. His works have been translated into more than 40 languages and sold more than 20 million copies, and have been adapted into motion pictures, stage plays, operas and audio books. Ende was one of the most popular and famous German authors of the 20th century, mostly due to the enormous success of his children's books. However, Ende was not strictly a children's author, as he also wrote books for adults. Ende claimed, "It is for this child in me, and in all of us, that I tell my stories," and that "[my books are] for any child between 80 and 8 years" (qtd. Senick 95, 97). Ende often found frustration in being perceived as exclusively an author for children, considering himself rather a man intending to speak of cultural problems and spiritual wisdom to people of all ages in his works. Ende's writing could be described as a surreal mixture of reality and fantasy. The reader is often invited to take a more interactive role in the story, and the worlds in his books often mirror our reality, using fantasy to bring light to the problems of an increasingly technological modern society. He was born in Garmisch (Bavaria, Germany), son of the surrealist painter Edgar Ende. He died in Filderstadt (Germany) of stomach cancer.