From 1968 Krüger has worked as a reader at the publishing house Carl Hanser Verlag, since 1986 he has been their chief reader. In 1972 he published his first poems, with his first collection, Reginapoly, appearing in 1976 and his first collection of stories Was tun: Eine altmodische Geschichte (What shall we do: An old-fashioned story) in 1984. Several stories, novels and translations followed. His work has garnered many important accolades including the 1986 Toucan Prize and the 1996 Prix Médicis étranger.
He wrote the introduction to the 2010 New York Review of Books edition of Jakov Lind’s Soul of Wood.
Since 1975 Michael Krüger is a jury member of the European literary award Petrarca-Preis.