Prominent German author Uwe Timm will visit Bowdoin on Tuesday to read from his semi-autobiographical novel “In My Brother’s Shadow.” The book recounts Timm’s struggle to understand the life of his older brother, who volunteered in 1942 to join Hitler’s Schutzstaffel and died in Ukraine a year later. Timm was only three years old at the time.

Currently in the United States as a guest of the Goethe-Institut and a presenter at the Boston Book Festival, Timm was invited to campus by Assistant Professor of German Jens Klenner. Klenner took advantage of Timm’s proximity to campus to invite the award-winning German author to read and interact with students.

“He tells really good stories, but at the same time they’re stories that’ll leave you thinking for a very long time,” Klenner said. “That is something that I admire about Timm’s work.”

Besides the discussion, the event will also encourage student participation in the reading. According to Chair of the German Department Birgit Tautz, the event offers a unique opportunity for students to engage in a different format of dialogue with a living author.

“It is also a fantastic opportunity for students to get in touch with an artist or with a writer who they would only meet otherwise on paper,” said Klenner.

Both Tautz and Klenner admire Timm’s use of historically and culturally relevant events in the novel. Though it is derived from a personal narrative, the novel also serves as a reflection on Germany during World War II.

“It is a very German story,” said Klenner. “It is about Germany in general, dealing with the atrocities of the war, the complicities of the ordinary German in the war crimes, the question of, ‘How could this have ever happened?’”

Tautz also emphasizes that although the event is sponsored by the German department, the event is open and relevant to all students because engaging in discussions about history, literature and international perspectives is a key mission of the College.

“I think [events like Timm’s reading] speak to the nature of the College,” said Tautz. “This is really, I think, an event that emphasizes that the College is not just this place. It’s really in dialogue with the world and with different aspects of the world.”

Timm’s reading and discussion of “In My Brother’s Shadow” will take place next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Shannon Room of Hubbard Hall.