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Autobiographical punch in the stomach about life in a children’s home

Kaddish for a C*nt

Dimitri Verhulst

‘Kaddish for a C*nt’ is a diptych about life in a children’s home and its consequences. In the autobiographical first part, during the funeral of Gianna, a girl who has committed suicide, the narrator is thinking back to their shared past in a children’s home. In a sarcastic, ink-black tone, but in a sublime, raging style, the author describes the chaos of a home where routine kleptomania breeds mistrust, where food and body odours permeate the communal life, where minimal privacy and sexual promiscuity are the only comforts, and where the prospecting visits by candidate foster parents are like a slave market.

Verhulst at his best, perhaps even better than ever: he is sharp, empathetic and subtle.
NRC Handelsblad

The second part is a dialogue between a couple who both grew up in homes. It is based on a true-life family drama. Early one morning, the couple murders their two children, a baby and a little boy, in the hope of starting a new life. Their dialogues are horrific and show the couple’s dulled emotions and unworldly helplessness. The parents motivate their ghastly deed by explaining that they did not want their children going into a home, too.

'Kaddish for a C*nt' is a bitingly written punch in the stomach about children who constantly feel unwanted and unloved.

Verhulst’s formulation is as phenomenal as ever, but the humour has become pitch black. Superior. ****
Leeuwarder Courant