All My friends are Crazy



100 in stock


Al mijn vrienden zijn gek
By Sera Anstadt
Translated by Sarah Lawson

ISBN: 978-1-84747-3868
First Published: 1993
This Edition: 2007
Pages: 200
Key Themes: Dutch author, autism, schizophrenia, hallucinations, hearing voices, hospitalisation, best-seller


Sera Anstadts touching story of her sons schizophrenia and autism was published in Holland in 1980 and soon went through numerous reprinting and became a minor classic.

Raf, short for Rafael was a sensitive, intense child who grew into a seriously disturbed adolescent. It is the mid 60s, and his mother feels that the social workers and medical professionals are blaming her for his condition. The theories of R.D. Laing are widely accepted and she is made to feel guilty for her sons illness and only learns the diagnosis by accident when she is chatting with her GP at a party.

Rafs schizophrenia becomes progressively worse, he hallucinates and hears voices. In The Netherlands he cannot be hospitalised unless he gives his permission, but he is making life unbearable for his mother. He wanders around the country but usually comes home in a confused state and is unsure where he has been. Foreign travel is predictably disastrous. Over the years he enters various mental institutions, where the policies vary from extreme laissez-faire to trial-and-error experiments in medication. To schizophrenia is added autism. He tends to feel better at each hospitalisation only to slip back to a worse state after the novelty wears off. Sometimes when he is feeling better he goes back to live with his mother for a time. At length he finds a clinic where he seems to be reasonably happy and the management is not wedded to any rigid theory. He achieves a certain equilibrium, and the story ends when he makes a brief visit back to his family and remarks that… all my friends are crazy.

This is a brave and honest book which provides the reader with a well-balanced account of what it means to love someone deeply and to support him on his journey through an imaginary world that dictates his reality.

About the Author

Serafina Sera Anstadt was born in Lvov, Ukraine in 1923, when the city was still in Poland. She and her parents and older brother Milo emigrated from Poland to The Netherlands in 1930, where she has lived ever since. As Jews, they had to go into hiding after the Nazi invasion of The Netherlands. This is Seras first book, originally written in 1980, over the past 25 years she has written a further eight books – both fiction and non-fiction. She has also worked as an actress.


There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.