Kaddish for a Child Not Born by Imre Kertész is the third book in a series of four novels which examine the life of a man who survives the Nazi concentration camps of World War II. Kaddish focuses on this man in his middle age as he reflects upon his childhood, his failed marriage, and his survival thus far. His wife leaves him because he refuses to father a child. She realizes that he does not want to live but she very much does. The narrator uses his writing to keep himself going. The story is in the form of a monologue by this man, and the novel has no chapter divisions or other breaks.
Kaddish was published in Hungary in 1990, twenty-five years after the first novel of the four appeared. It was first translated into English in 1997 by Christopher C. Wilson and Katharina M. Wilson. A new translation by Tim Wilkinson (retitled Kaddish for an Unborn Child) was released in 2004. Although Kertész's first novel Fateless (1975; English translation, 1992 and 2004) was initially coldly received in Hungary, his literary talent was gradually acknowledged. He was relatively unknown, even in Hungary, when he was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature in 2002.