Christoph Hein (born 8 April 1944) is a German author and translator.He grew up in the village Bad Düben near Leipzig. Being a clergyman's son and thus not allowed to attend the Erweiterte Oberschule in the GDR, he received secondary education at a gymnasium in the western part of Berlin. After his Abitur he jobbed inter alia as assembler, bookseller and assistant director. From 1967 to 1971 Hein studied philosophy in Leipzig and Berlin. Upon graduation he became dramatic adviser at the Volksbühne in Berlin, where he worked as a resident writer from 1974. Since 1979 Hein has worked as a freelance writer.Hein first became known for his 1982 novella Der fremde Freund (The Distant Lover).From 1998 to 2000 Hein was the first president of the pan-German PEN-Centre.