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About this book
The Slaughterman’s Daughter
The Avenging of Mende Speismann by the Hand of Her Sister Fanny
Yaniv Iczkovits • Orr Scharf
When Fanny Keismann turns ten, her father, Grodno’s ritual slaughterer, gives her a knife, and she soon develops a talent for her father’s trade. But in nineteenth-century Russia, ritual slaughter does not befit a wife and mother, so when it comes time to marry and raise a family, Fanny abandons her work and devotes herself to raising her five children.
When Fanny’s older sister’s husband disappears, Fanny leaves her own family and sets out for the great city of Minsk in search of her wayward brother-in-law, armed with her old knife and accompanied by Zizek Bershov, who is either a sly rogue or an idiot. Fanny’s mission to help her sister turns into a misadventure that threatens the foundations of the Russian Empire. What began as a family matter in Motol, a peripheral Jewish settlement, breaks the bounds of the shtetl, pits the police against the Czar’s army, and upsets the political and social order they all live in.
About the Creators
YANIV ICZKOVITS is an award-winning author and was formerly a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Tel Aviv. His previous works include Pulse (2007), Adam and Sophie (2009), and Wittgenstein’s Ethical Thought (2012), based on his academic work. In 2002, he was an inaugural signatory of the “combatants’ letter,” in which hundreds of Israeli soldiers affirmed their refusal to fight in the occupied territories, and he spent a month in military prison as a result. The Slaughterman’s Daughter is his third novel and won the Ramat Gan Prize and the Agnon Prize in 2015, the first time the prize had been awarded in ten years. It was also shortlisted for the Sapir Prize. Yaniv Iczkovits previously held a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University and lives with his family in Tel Aviv.
ORR SCHARF is a lecturer at the University of Haifa and previously held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. The Slaughterman’s Daughter is his first novel-length translation.