Uwe Timm

Uwe Timm

Uwe Timm (2013)
Born (1940-03-30) 30 March 1940
Hamburg, Germany
Occupation Writer
Nationality German
Education PhD in German literature
Alma mater Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Period 1971–present
Notable works Am Beispiel meines Bruders, Rennschwein Rudi Rüssel,
Notable awards Heinrich-Böll-Preis
Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis
Spouse Dagmar Ploetz
Children four, each of them is dedicated with one novel

Uwe Timm (born 30 March 1940 in Hamburg) is a German writer.

Life and work

Uwe Timm was the youngest son in his family. His brother, 16 years his senior, was a soldier in the Waffen SS and died in Ukraine in 1943. Decades later, Uwe Timm approached his relationship with his father and brother in the critically acclaimed novel In my brother's shadow.

After working as a furrier, Timm studied Philosophy and German in Munich and Paris, achieving a PhD in German literature in 1971 with his thesis: The Problem of Absurdity in the Works of Albert Camus. During his studies, Timm was engaged in leftist activities of the 1960s. He became a member of the Socialist German Student Union and was associated with Benno Ohnesorg. From 1973 to 1981 he was a member of the German Communist Party. Three times Timm has been called as a writer-in-residence to several universities in English-speaking countries: in 1981 to the University of Warwick, in 1994 to Swansea and in 1997 to the Washington University in St. Louis. He has also been a lecturer at universities in Paderborn, Darmstadt, Lüneburg and Frankfurt.

Timm started publishing in the early 1970s and became known to a larger audience in Germany after one of his children's books, Rennschwein Rudi Rüssel, was turned into a movie. Today he is one of the most successful contemporary authors in Germany. His books Die Entdeckung der Currywurst (The Discovery of Curried Sausage) and Am Beispiels meines Bruders (In my brother's shadow, or literally: "By my Brother's Example") can both be found on the syllabi of German schools. His readers usually appreciate Timm's writing style, which he himself calls "die Ästhetik des Alltags" ("the aesthetics of everyday life").[1] Timm imitates everyday storytelling by using everyday vocabulary and simple sentences and generally tries to imitate the way stories are orally told. His works often indirectly link with each other by taking up minor characters from one story and making this character the main character of another work. For example, a minor character like Frau Brücker from Johannisnacht is taken up as a main character in his book Die Entdeckung der Currywurst. Timm's works also tend to have autobiographical features and often deal with the German past or are set in the German past.[2]



English translations


  1. Erzählen und kein Ende, A collection of speeches (1993)
  2. Hanjo Kersting, Axel Ruckaberle: "Uwe Timm", Kritisches Lexikon zur deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur (KLG), Köln 2004.
  3. "Preistraeger des Bayerischen Filmpreises" (PDF). Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  4. City of Aalen. Schubart-Literaturpreis winners. Retrieved 14 October 2012. (German)
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