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The Slaughterman’s Daughter: A Novel

The Slaughterman’s Daughter: A Novel

Author Yaniv Iczkovits
Publisher Schocken
Publication Date 2020
Section New Hardcover - Fiction
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9780805243659

“Occasionally a book comes along so fresh, strange, and original that it seems peerless, utterly unprecedented. This is one of those books.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

An irresistible, picaresque tale of two Jewish sisters in late-nineteenth-century Russia, The Slaughterman’s Daughter is filled with “boundless imagination and a vibrant style” (David Grossman), as well as enough intrigue and misadventure to stupefy the Coen brothers.

With her reputation as a vilde chaya (wild animal), Fanny Keismann isn’t like the other women in her shtetl in the Pale of Settlement—certainly not her obedient and anxiety-ridden sister, Mende, whose “philosopher” of a husband, ZviMeir, has run off to Minsk, abandoning her and their two children.

As a young girl, Fanny felt an inexorable pull toward her father’s profession of ritual slaughterer and, under his reluctant guidance, became a master with a knife. And though she long ago gave up that unsuitable profession—she’s now the wife of a cheesemaker and a mother of five—Fanny still keeps the knife tied to her right leg. Which might come in handy when, heedless of the dangers facing a Jewish woman traveling alone in czarist Russia, she sets off to track down Zvi-Meir and bring him home, with the help of the mute and mysterious ferryman Zizek Breshov, an ex-soldier with his own sensational past.

Yaniv Iczkovits spins a family drama into a far-reaching comedy of errors that will pit the czar’s army against the Russian secret police and threaten the very foundations of the Russian Empire. The Slaughterman’s Daughter is a rollicking and unforgettable work of fiction.

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