Dimitri Verhulst is considered to be one of the great writers of the Low Countries. In 1994, he started out as a poet with the collection Werf en wrak (Shipyard and Shipwreck) but he didn’t make his official debut until 1999 with De kamer hiernaast (The Room Next Door), a collection of autobiographical stories about his difficult childhood. Problemski Hotel followed in 2003, a book that he wrote after he had himself locked in a refugee centre for a few days as part of his work as a journalist. His major breakthrough came however with De helaasheid der dingen (The Misfortunates, 2006), a shameless chronicle of his youth that won him the Golden Owl Readers’ Prize and the Inktaap. The film was also a huge success. Godverdomse dagen op een godverdomse bol (Goddamn Days on a Goddamn Globe, 2008), a history of humanity in 200 pages, was awarded the Libris Literature Prize. Verhulst is known for his controversial books and his explicit and humorous use of language. His style is often described as being cynical yet compassionate. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages.
Kaddish for a C*nt
Luchterhand Verlag, 2016
Translated by Rainer Kersten
Original title: Kaddisj voor een kut (Atlas Contact, 2014)
German title: Die Unerwünschten
Kaddish for a C*nt is the story of the young people in the Zonnekind Children’s Home, who are carelessly pushed like pawns across a chessboard by the Child Protection Services and will never bask in the warmth of a family. In rather uncomplimentary characterisations, Verhulst outlines the ordeals of Gianna, Stefaan and Sarah in government care. Kaddish for a C*nt is full of black humour, but also reflects the total hopelessness the author felt as a boy.