Books & Review
Updated: Feb 25, 2013 02:33 AM EST

Gerbrand Bakker's ‘Ten White Geese’ Tells a Story about Craving For Solitude

Gerbrand Bakker's ‘Ten White Geese’ Tells a Story about Craving For Solitude (Photo : Ella Tilgenkamp/Penguin)

Gerbrand Bakker's "Ten White Geese" tells the story of a woman who craves solitude, which she discovers is impossible to find in current times.

Gerbrand Bakker's new novel "Ten White Geese" is already a bestseller. The book explores a young woman's need for solitude, which she discovers is impossible to find in current times. The book tells the story of a young school teacher who wants to escape the humiliation that came from an affair she had with a student. The book begins with the arrival of this woman on a Welsh farm, wanting to be alone. Her husband has no idea where she is and she answers to the name Emily, not her real name but the name of an American poet, the subject of her doctoral dissertation.

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Bakker reveals to NPR that the need and search for solitude is only one of the themes of the book. During the course of the book, "Emily" recalls who she really was and her stay at the farm helps her regain her strength and health. Mortality is another theme the author touches upon in the book. The woman becomes aware of her own mortality when the white geese that live on the farm begin dying one by one and she can do nothing to save them.

Bakker also says that with all the distractions nowadays, it is becoming difficult for writers to find a quiet place to do their writing. According to the author, cellphones are the biggest distraction - they let people known what other people are doing all the time.

With so much development happening in technology, Bakker says it's impossible not to get to know more about other people. This, he finds a curse because in his genre of writing - mystery thrillers - it's all about writing about what people don't know. Being a man, Bakker reveals that it was a big challenge to write in the voice of a woman. However, contrary to what other people may say, he personally feels that there are no fundamental differences between a man and a woman.

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