The Twin - Gerbrand Bakker
Translated from the Flemish by David Colmer
Archipelago 2009 | Order
The Twin - Gerbrand Bakker When his twin brother dies in a car accident, Helmer is obliged to return from university life 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 to have him out of the way as he sparsely redecorates the downstairs, finally making it his own. Then one day Riet, the woman who had once been engaged to marry Helmer's twin, appears and asks if she and her troubled eighteen-year-old son could come to live with them on the farm. Ostensibly a novel about the countryside, The Twin is ultimately about the possibility or impossibility of taking life into one's own hands. It chronicles a way of life that has resisted modernity, a world culturally apart yet laden with romantic longing.

Winner of the 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
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