The Twin

Paperback | June 1, 2009

byGerbrand Bakker

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When Henk’s twin brother dies in a car accident, Helmer is obliged to return to the small family farm. He resigns himself to taking over his brother’s role and spending the rest of his days ‘with his head under a cow’.

After his old, worn-out father has been transferred upstairs, Helmer sets about furnishing the rest of the house according to his own minimal preferences. ‘A double bed and a duvet’, advises Ada, who lives next door, with a sly look. Then Riet appears, the woman once engaged to marry his twin. Could Riet and her son live with him for a while, on the farm?

The Twin is an ode to the platteland, the flat and bleak Dutch countryside with its ditches and its cows and its endless grey skies. Ostensibly a novel about the countryside, as seen through the eyes of a farmer, The Twin is, in the end, about the possibility or impossibility of taking life into one’s own hands. It chronicles a way of life which has resisted modernity, is culturally apart, and yet riven with a kind of romantic longing.


From the Hardcover edition.

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From the Publisher

When Henk’s twin brother dies in a car accident, Helmer is obliged to return to the small family farm. He resigns himself to taking over his brother’s role and spending the rest of his days ‘with his head under a cow’. After his old, worn-out father has been transferred upstairs, Helmer sets about furnishing the rest of the house accor...

From the Jacket

“Bakker captures the feel of life in the Dutch countryside in a style which is both dazzling and subdued. He has produced a poignant story, recounted in a tone at once spare and loving.” —De Volkskrant“After finishing The Twin, all the reader can say is: here is a true writer” —Het Parool“Bakker is above all a gifted stylist.” —Trouw"A...

Gerbrand Bakker worked as a subtitler for nature films before becoming a gardener. The Twin is his prize-winning debut novel and will shortly be made into a film.From the Hardcover edition.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 7.73 × 5.05 × 0.71 inPublished:June 1, 2009Publisher:Random House UKLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:009951687X

ISBN - 13:9780099516873

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“Bakker captures the feel of life in the Dutch countryside in a style which is both dazzling and subdued. He has produced a poignant story, recounted in a tone at once spare and loving.” —De Volkskrant“After finishing The Twin, all the reader can say is: here is a true writer” —Het Parool“Bakker is above all a gifted stylist.” —Trouw"A novel of restrained tenderness and laconic humour.” —J.M. CoetzeeFrom the Hardcover edition.