Jan Arends

Jan Arends (1925-74) was raised in a Catholic care home and went on to lead a turbulent life, stumbling from one short-lived job to the next. All the while he wrote poems and stories that focused on his battles with officialdom and the medical establishment. He committed suicide in 1974, days before the publication of his final collection of poems Lunchpauze gedichten (Lunch-break Poems). He soon became a cult figure whose work has since been rediscovered by generation after generation. Keefman has achieved classic status and is now in its eleventh edition.



(De Bezige Bij, 1972, 166 pages)

Jan Arends was a gifted poet and writer of short stories but also an alcoholic and a sociopath who spent much of his short life in psychiatric care. These aspects of his complex personality come together brilliantly in Keefman, a collection of short stories published in the heyday of the anti-psychiatry movement. It has since become a literary classic.

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