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Gerbrand Bakker takes Impac Literary Award

The Twin

Story by Jack Foley

DUTCH author Gerbrand Bakker has won the 100,000 euro (£83,500) International Impac Dublin Literary Award.

The acclaimed write triumphed for his novel The Twin, which judges praised for its “laconic humour and surprising tenderness”.

The novel follows a man who returns to his family farm after the death of his twin and resolves to taking over his sibling’s role “with his head under a cow”.

The judges added: “The writing is wonderful – restrained and clear and studded with detail of farm rhythms in the cold, damp Dutch countryside.”

Bakker beat competition from 155 other novels that were nominated by 163 libraries from around the world. The Impac award offers the biggest cash prize in the world for a work of fiction.

Bakker’s translator, David Colmer, will also receive 25,000 euros (£20,800) of the prize money.

Other authors on the eight-long shortlist included Britons Zoe Heller, Ross Raisin and Robert Edric along with Irishman Joseph O’Neill.

The Impac prize is open to novels written in any language by authors of any nationality, provided the book has been published in or translated into English.