The Twin

The Twin

Paperback Rainmaker Translations

By (author) Gerbrand Bakker, Translated by David Colmer

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  • Format: Paperback | 343 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 175mm x 28mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1935744046
  • ISBN 13: 9781935744047
  • Edition statement: Translation
  • Sales rank: 507,565

Product 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 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.

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Author information

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.

Review quote

"After finishing 'The Twin, ' all the reader can say is: here is a true writer." "--Het Parool" "The charm of Bakker's book is how finely every element is balanced, how perfectly the story is paced. ... Bakker shows a fine gift for laconic comedy. ... The great pleasure of this novel is how it has just enough plot to allow us to relish its beautifully turned observations of birds and beasts, weather and water." "--Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books" "Tense with unuttered yearning ... The greatness of this book lies ... in a mounting intricacy of feeling as life begins to burgeon out of a stony, wasted existence. ... But instead of something terrible happening ... rillets of sweetness and joy arise, little springs of gladness. ... In the end ... this becomes a kindhearted book, kind to both characters and reader." "--Katherine A. Powers, The Boston Globe" "The novel has all the careful observation and and delicate shading of a painting by one of the Dutch masters - Bakker sees beauty and complexity in the smallest corners of everyday life and portrays them with a quiet mastery that gives his story both great weight and great lightness." "--The Quarterly Conversation" "Gerbrand Bakker's writing is fabulously clear, so clear that each sentence leaves a rippling wake." "-Susan Reynolds, The Los Angeles Times" "Stealthy seductive story-telling that draws you into a world of silent rage and quite unexpected relationships. Compelling and convincing from beginning to end." "--Tim Parks" "This is a quiet book, humble in tone, with a fine, self-deprecating humour [...] It leaves the reader touched and with the impression of having seen and smelled the ever-damp Dutch platteland." "--Times Literary Supplement" "Bakker is above all a gifted stylist. His dialogue is exemplary, and the descriptions of nature have a natural charm worthy of Nescio. It is a long time since we've taken such pleasure in a genui