Den forløsende slutnings nødvendighed

Når tidligere børnehjemsbørn skriver deres selvbiografi


  • Stine Grønbæk Jensen



Autobiografier, autobiography, forløsende slutninger, erindringsarbejde, memory, erindringer, børnehjemsbørn, Passage, litteratur, literature, life stories


”Writing my autobiography has been one of the most liberating experiences of my life.” This is one of the last lines in Grethe Behnke Larsen’s book Maybe at Home from 2010, where she tells the story of an upbringing dominated by neglect and out-of-home placements and a turbulent adult life with many psychological problems. Grethe’s book is part of a trend that has grown steadily over the past two decades. An increasing number of books with personal accounts of neglect, abuse, mental disorders, or life-threatening illnesses, but also of a failing welfare state, are currently being published. The article examines these autobiographies as a special subgenre and explores how their redemptive plots and hopeful endings can serve as transformative tools in both an existential and political sense for people who are struggling in life. The article is based on an anthropological study and sheds light on how people, through their creativity partly can break free of the way they have been shaped by their past, and become political agents, but also that processes of becoming is a lifelong task, where the past must be continuously revisited and reformulated in the face of new difficult experiences and in the hope of a happy end.





Grønbæk Jensen, S. (2023). Den forløsende slutnings nødvendighed: Når tidligere børnehjemsbørn skriver deres selvbiografi. Passage - Tidsskrift for Litteratur Og Kritik, 37(88), 67–83.