KIRKUS REVIEWS "10 BOOKS TO LOOK FOR IN 2021" PICK
"Boundless imagination and a vibrant style . . . a heroine of unforgettable grit" DAVID GROSSMAN
"A story of great beauty and surprise" GARY SHTEYNGART
The townsfolk of Motal, an isolated, godforsaken town in the Pale of Settlement, are shocked when Fanny Keismann - devoted wife, mother of five, and celebrated cheese-maker - leaves her home at two hours past midnight and vanishes into the night.
True, the husbands of Motal have been vanishing for years, but a wife and mother? Whoever heard of such a thing. What on earth possessed her?
Could it have anything to do with Fanny's missing brother-in-law, who left her sister almost a year ago and ran away to Minsk, abandoning their family to destitution and despair?
Or could Fanny have been lured away by Zizek Breshov, the mysterious ferryman on the Yaselda river, who, in a strange twist of events, seems to have disappeared on the same night?
Surely there can be no link between Fanny and the peculiar roadside murder on the way to Minsk, which has left Colonel Piotr Novak, head of the Russian secret police, scratching his head. Surely a crime like that could have nothing to do with Fanny Keismann, however the people of Motal might mutter about her reputation as a vilde chaya, a wild animal . . .
Translated from the Hebrew by Orr Scharf
With boundless imagination and a vibrant style, Yaniv Iczkovits creates a colorful family drama that spins nineteenth century Russia out of control, and he delivers a heroine of unforgettable grit. Iczkovits 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
The Slaughterman's Daughter is a miraculous patchwork-quilt of individual stories within stories told by different voices through which Fanny, the Belorussian Jewish slaughterman's daughter, cuts with her butcher's knife in search of justice. That quest for justice is the master story: a feminist picaresque set in a landscape of visionary and intimate historical and physical detail -- George Szirtes
Totally compulsive reading -- Rosemary Sullivan
With the sweeping grandeur of a Russian epic and the sly, sometimes bawdy humour of the Yiddish greats, The Slaughterman's Daughter is a magnificent triumph -- Bram Presser, author of The Book of Dirt
"An extraordinarily vivid portrayal of life in the Pale of Settlement, an area of the pre-revolutionary Russian Empire where Jews were allowed, begrudgingly, to live" -- Antonia Senior ― The Times
A narrative full of invention and surprises . . . Iczkovits mixes real history, fable and the products of his imagination into an intoxicating, thoroughly enjoyable brew -- Nick Rennison ― Sunday Times
Yaniv Iczkovits' brilliant, sweeping novel is set in czarist Russia during the late nineteenth century, but feels highly relevant and resonant today . . . filled with exquisitely drawn characters . . . bold and provocative -- Elaine Margolin ― TLS
A born storyteller . . . Iczkovits is clearly a talent to watch and The Slaughterman's Daughter is the place to start -- David Herman ― Jewish Chronicle
Echoes of Russian and Yiddish literature resound in this delightful picaresque, but you need not hear them to enjoy it . . . Technicolour characters, pathos and humour are all wonderfully captured in a nimble translation from the Hebrew ― Economist (Books of the Year, 2020)