The Twin

By Gerbrand Bakker; David Colmer (Translator)
(Archipelago Books, Paperback, 9781935744047, 343pp.)

Publication Date: August 2010

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Description

Winner of the 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

An NPR pick for Best Foreign Fiction of the Year, a "School Library Journal" Best Adult Book for High School Students and a Powells.com Indispensable Pick.

Author of TEN WHITE GEESE (Penguin, 2013)

"A novel of restrained tenderness and laconic humor."--J. M. Coetzee

"Gerbrand Bakker's writing is so fabulously clear, so clear that each sentence leaves a rippling wake."--"Los Angeles Times"

When his twin brother is killed in a car accident, Helmer is obliged to give up university to take over his brother's role on the small family farm, resigning himself to spending the rest of his days "with his head under a cow."

The novel begins thirty years later with Helmer moving his invalid father upstairs and out of the way so he can redecorate the downstairs, finally making it his own. Then Riet, the woman who had once been engaged to Helmer's twin, appears and asks if her troubled eighteen-year-old son could come live on the farm for a while.

"The Twin" poses complex questions about solitude and the possibility of taking life into one's own hands. Set in the beautiful landscape of the Dutch countryside, it chronicles a way of life that has resisted modernity, a world culturally apart yet laden with familiar longing.

Gerbrand Bakker lives in the Netherlands.




About the Author
Gerbrand Bakker (b. 1962) studied Dutch language and literature and worked as a subtitler for nature films before becoming a gardener. [The Twin], his first adult novel, appeared in Dutch in 2006 and was awarded the Golden Dog-Ear, a prize for the best-selling literary debut.

DAVID COLMER is an independent writer and translator. He translates Dutch literature in a wide range of genres. His nonfiction translations include Living Dangerously: A Biography of Joris Ivens and Formula One Fanatic.
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