Uwe Timm




English sample translation by Breon Mitchell available
Recommended for translation by New Books in German
Winner of the Schiller Prize 2018
Shortlisted for the Wilhelm Raabe Prize 2017

A multi-layered and engaging novel by one of Germany’s most important contemporary novelists and a fascinating journey into German post-war history. Like in Am Beispiel meines Bruders Timm takes real life characters like Alfred Ploetz – who coined the term “racial hygiene” – and asks big questions about the quest for alternatives to the status quo while at the same time painting a vivid picture of a country destroyed by war and an inhuman ideology and telling a moving story of a young man at the beginning of his life.

Germany, late April 1945: The American officer Michael Hansen, 25, returns to the land of his birth and accepts an assignment from the secret services: to find out what role the eugenicist Professor Ploetz played in the Nazi regime. While the war continues to rage regionally, Hansen takes up quarters on the Ammersee in Bavaria. In an antiquarian bookshop, he meets the dissident Wagner, an early companion of the scientist. Wagner tells him the story of their friendship, which began in Breslau at the end of the 19th century and took the two students, via Zurich, all the way to America – and right into the middle of the debate about the best social order: socialism according to Marx versus the utopian project of the community of Icarians, founded by the French revolutionary Étienne Cabet in America. Through Wagner’s autobiographical confessions, Hansen discovers the Faustian pact that the racial hygienist Ploetz made with the Nazis and the very different fate that met the antiquarian because of his position of resistance. Hansen’s journey through the materially and morally decimated country allows him to witness the dawn of a new era that would shape German history. At the same time, it turns into an éducation sentimentale, with Hansen also learning some lessons about love.

“Ikarien is not only a necessary book, but also one of the best German novels of the last years” - Babelia/El Pais



ISBN: 978-3-462-05048-6
release: 07. September 2017
512 pages, gebunden mit SU


24,00 €
0,00 sFr
24,70 €

Rights sold to

sample translation

About the Author

Uwe Timm was born in 1940 and has worked as a freelance writer since 1971. He has published more than 25 books both for adults and for children. Except for his children´s books, Uwe Timm´s works have been published by Kiepenheuer & Witsch. Among others he was awarded the Premio Napoli and the Premio Mondello in 2006, received the Heinrich Böll Prize in 2009 and the Carl Zuckmayer Medal in 2012. In 2013 he was awarded the Cultural Prize of the City of Munich.

His books have been translated into more than 30 languages. Am Beispiel meines Bruders (“In My Brother’s Shadow”) alone has been translated into over 20 languages since 2003.

Further titles by the author:
Heißer Sommer
Kerbels Flucht
Der Mann auf dem Hochrad
Der Schlangenbaum
Vogel, friss die Feige nicht
Erzählen und kein Ende
Die Entdeckung der Currywurst
Nicht morgen, nicht gestern
Am Beispiel meines Bruders
Der Freund und der Fremde
Von Anfang und Ende
Montaignes Turm