Kaddish for an Unborn Child
The first word in this mesmerizing novel by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature is “No.” It is how the novel’s narrator, a middle-aged Hungarian-Jewish writer, answers an acquaintance who asks him if he has a child. It is the answer he gave his wife (now ex-wife) years earlier when she told him that she wanted one. The loss, longing and regret that haunt the years between those two “no”s give rise to one of the most eloquent meditations ever written on the Holocaust.
As Kertesz’s narrator addresses the child he couldn’t bear to bring into the world he ushers readers into the labyrinth of his consciousness, dramatizing the paradoxes attendant on surviving the catastrophe of Auschwitz. Kaddish for the Unborn Child is a work of staggering power, lit by flashes of perverse wit and fueled by the energy of its wholly original voice.
Translated by Tim Wilkinson
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - lauralkeet - LibraryThing
I lived in such a way that the Germans might return at any time; thus I didn't quite live. (p. 45) This book is a holocaust survivor's first-person narrative exploring the impact of imprisonment at ... Read full review
Kaddish for an Unborn Child (Vintage International)User Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Two haunting tales of the Holocaust by Nobel winner Kertsz. The autobiographical Fatelessness (1975) follows an outcast 14-year-old boy's observations of Auschwitz. Kaddish (1990) finds a man mourning his wife, killed by the Nazis, and the child he never had. Heartbreaking. Read full review