The Slaughterman's Daughter

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Product Details

Schocken Books Inc
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.4 X 1.6 inches | 1.76 pounds

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About the Author

YANIV ICZKOVITS is the author of Pulse, Adam and Sophie, and Wittgenstein's Ethical Thought. He held a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University and was a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Tel Aviv. The Slaughterman's Daughter was awarded the Ramat Gan Prize and the Agnon Prize; it was also short-listed for the Sapir Prize. Iczkovits lives with his family in Tel Aviv.

ORR SCHARF teaches cultural studies and translation theory at the University of Haifa. He is the author of Thinking in Translation: Scripture and Redemption in the Thought of Franz Rosenzweig. The Slaughterman's Daughter is his first literary translation


"Occasionally a book comes along so fresh, strange, and original that it seems peerless, utterly unprecedented. This is one of those books. You might hear traces of Gogol or Isaac Babel in Iczkovits' voice, but they're only traces . . . Iczkovits is a superb talent, and this novel is a resounding success. As witty as it is wise, [The Slaughterman's Daughter] is a profoundly moving caper through the Russian empire."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Offbeat, picaresque . . . full of invention and surprises. Stories nest inside stories, like Russian dolls. Iczkovits mixes real history, fable, and the products of his imagination into an intoxicating, thoroughly enjoyable brew."
--Nick Rennison, The Sunday Times (London)

"Brilliant, sweeping . . . Filled with exquisitely drawn characters."
--Elaine Margolin, Times Literary Supplement

"With boundless imagination and a vibrant style, Iczkovits delivers a heroine of unforgettable grit. He wields his pen with wit and panache. A remarkable and evocative read."
--David Grossman

"A story of great beauty and surprise. A necessary antidote for our times."
--Gary Shteyngart

"Delightful . . . Technicolor characters, pathos, and humor are all wonderfully captured in a nimble translation from the Hebrew."
--The Economist ("Our books of the year")

"Iczkovits elevates this cat-and-mouse story into a sweeping narrative with trips down side roads that reveal the riveting backstories of major and minor characters. His observations about human nature, family dynamics, and the interplay between religion and politics come across as wise but never didactic. Ever entertaining, Iczkovits's lively, transportive picaresque takes readers on a memorable ride."
--Publishers Weekly

"Full of fascinating historical detail. Iczkovits has done his research. But, best of all, is the writing. He is a born storyteller. The novel is packed with terrific characters . . . This is a book you will not want to put down. It's full of energy, part farce, part adventure story. Iczkovits is clearly a talent to watch and The Slaughterman's Daughter is the place to start."
--David Herman, The Jewish Chronicle

"A bona fide masterpiece that is a sheer delight. Shot through with black humor and rich prose . . . rich in cultural heritage and eccentrically characterized. Brilliantly translated."
--Noel Megahey, The Digital Fix

"[F]lamboyant and exuberant, compassionate and emotionally complex, heartwarming and poignant. The human spirit triumphs over all."
--Paul Burke, New Books Magazine

"A miraculous patchwork quilt of individual stories within stories told by different voices, [the] quest for justice is the master story: a feminist picaresque set in a landscape of visionary and intimate historical and physical detail."
--George Szirtes

"Combine a thriller with a road story, throw in a page-turning adventure, a few fables, some ethical speculation, a Bildungsroman, and more than one love story, and you get this epic tale. It's witty, wise, exciting, intriguing, sorrowful, joyous, and tender. Full of surprise, understanding, historic sweep, and more than a few murders, The Slaughterman's Daughter keeps you deliciously poised on a keen and beguiling fictional knife-edge."
--Gary Barwin

"An original take on the historical novel that recreates--with a shrewd but affectionate look back at a lost world--Jewish life in the Russian empire at the end of the nineteenth century. [C]haracterized by historical realism but also an element of fantasy, it is also worth noting the novel's brilliant insights and its winning humor. A novel of unquestionable uniqueness."
--Judges' Committee, The Agnon Prize