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Dutch writer wins world's 'biggest literature prize'

Friday 18 June 2010

Dutch writer Gerbrand Bakker has won the €100,000 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his first novel Boven is het stil, translated into English as The Twin.

Translator David Colmer gets 25% of the prize money in what the organisers say is the world's biggest literature prize.

The Twin beat off competition from 155 other titles, nominated by 163 public libraries from 43 countries.

The winning book is the story of a man forced to take over his brother's role running the small family farm when his twin dies.

According to the competition website, '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.'

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Well done!
but ... Oops!
That's now going to upset many literature professors who have stated that Holland never has nor can it ever produce any great writers.

By Gerard | 18 June 2010 3:59 PM

You've got to be kidding. "World's biggest literature prize"? Gee. And here everyone thought that was the Nobel, seconded by the Pulitzer. And the Booker. But hey, what do we know?

[Editor's note: The Nobel prize is bigger in terms of cash but covers an entire body of work, not a single novel.

The Booker international prize is also awarded for a body of work and is worth £60,000 to the winner with an additional £15,000 to the translator.

Pulitzer prize winners get $10,000 cash award and a certificate.]

By abigail | 18 June 2010 4:28 PM

Oh I miss the platteland (Achterhoek) with its "sloten" and "knotwilgen" the poplar trees, the smell of the cows, the wonderful colors of the wild flowers that pop up everywhere in Spring which make wonderful bouquets. Seeing the horizon. I yearn for it. The picking of chanterelles in the woods, or the picking of blackberries along the roads to make jam. While not living on a farm I was surrounded by them. I spent a couple of summers on a farm. Something I will never forget. I feel very priviledged having been exposed to the wonder if it all.

By Gerry | 18 June 2010 5:33 PM

A hammer on the head, sort of. This finally convinces me, and hope it would my compoblanos, country men, too, to write fiction or poetry in their own native tongue; not in English as original. Then translate their work themselves in English or get a translator to do it. We can never write of ourselves as Filipinos, or any nationality, in fact, and, if we wish to put in, the rhythm and sound of our native tongue (mine is Chabacano) ... by writing our original works in English--which unfortunately I've done for decades. Mea culpa. Muchas gracias then to the Dutch!

By Antonio Enriquez | 26 June 2010 7:49 AM

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