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Sunday, June 20, 2010

$100,000 Impac Prize Won by Novice Novelist

June 17, 2010 | 4:34 PM | By Stuart Woods

For the third year in a row, the winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the world’s richest fiction prize, is a debut novelist. Dutch writer Gerbrand Bakker (and translator David Colmer) accepted the €100,000 prize for The Twin, about a Dutch farmer named Helmer who is forced to return to his family farm after the death of his brother in a car crash.

Last year’s winner was Michael Thomas’s first novel Man Gone Down, and Canadian Rawi Hage’s debut, De Niro’s Game, was the winner in 2008.

According to juror Anne Fine the jury’s citation, The Twin is “sparely written” and “rich in detail.” Fine continues, “The writing is wonderful: restrained and clear, and studded with detail of farm rhythms in the cold, damp Dutch countryside. The author excels at dialogue, and Helmer’s inner story-telling voice also comes over perfectly as he begins to change everything around him.”

From The Guardian:

The idea for the book came to Bakker on a holiday in Corsica in 2002. Hiking through the mountains, he had the idea of a son “who was going to do something terrible to his father.”

“It stayed in my mind for months and I got so frustrated – nothing was happening with the idea. Then I just sat down and got writing. I didn’t know where I was going, I just started – for me that’s a good way to write,” he said.


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