Gerbrand Bakker Wins The 2010 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

The Twin, Gerbrand BakkerThe Dutch novellist Gerbrand Bakker has won the 2010 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award with his debut adult novel The Twin.

The announcement was made at a black tie ceremony in Dublin last night.

Bakker shares the €100,000 prize, the largest literary prize for a single novel, with the English language translator, David Colmer, who will receive €25,000.

Bakker’s book beat off competition that included Irish Author Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland.

The shortlist (see here) for the award was selected by public libraries around the world.

Speaking to Seán Rocks on RTE’s arts programme Arena, Bakker said he was so shocked when heard that he had to lie down for a while.

‘I was extremely surprised because there were eight novels on the shortlist and eight is quite a lot of novels. Usually as far as I know it’s five or six and eight is a lot and Joseph O’Neill was on it and big big names,’ Bakker told Rocks.

Bakker also spoke about his surprise being described as a debut novelist.

‘It is my debut novel, but it isn’t … In Holland we have this ridiculous distinction between children’s books and books for grownups and children’s books are not literary, never, and books for grownups are. I’ve written one book for young adults it was published in 1999 and I consider that to be my real debut novel. But it’s fine by me if other people want to call this a debut novel,’ he said.

The judging panel was chaired by chaired by Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan and included Anne Fine, Eve Patten, Abdourahman Waberi and Zoë Wicomb.