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the Twin by Gerbrand Bakker

2009, Vintage

This first book by Dutch author Gerbrand Bakker won the 2010 International Impac Dublin Literary Award.

I don't have much to say about it, so I asked the fictional main character, Helmer, to speak for himself.

Hello. I'm Helmer. After losing my twin brother, I had no choice but to take over my father's farm, and for the last few years, I've also had to care for my sick and slowly dying father who hardly speaks to me. He preferred my brother. But I carry on through the drudgery, never daring to make a change. What choice do I really have? Or do I?

Occasionally something interesting happens, like the other day. I was looking out of my window with binoculars to observe a crow, and happened to see that my neighbor, a woman I've known for awhile, was at her window, too. I looked closer and saw that she also had binoculars. We were both looking at each other through binoculars. It was kind of embarrasssing but at least it was something.

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