Yaniv Iczkovits

Fiction, MacLehose Press, 2020

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 Telekhany, 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 . . .

Surely not.

Rights Sold:

Canada: House of Anansi; Croatia: Petrine knjige; Czech: Albatross; France: Gallimard; Germany: Unionsverlag; Holland: De Geus; Hungary: IPC Books; Israel: Keter; Italy: Neri Pozza; Lithuania: Balto; Mexico: Planeta Mexico; Poland: Poznanskie; Romania: Humanitas; Spain: Navona; Serbia: Dereta; UK: MacLehose Press; US: Pantheon/Schocken


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

What begins as a small family drama explodes in every possible direction in its virtuosity. -- Haaretz Book Review


A novel exploding with imagination and talent, and reflecting a familiarity with both the prosaic nitty-gritty that characterized life in the Jewish Pale of Settlement, and the sweeping historical forces that affected it . . . Fresh and original . . . Iczkovits [is] served by a superb translator.” —David B. Green, Haaretz English

An adventure story with few like it in modern Hebrew literature . . . a simply outstanding novel -- Yaron London, Walla

A major novel that zigzags between characters and plots, between history and psychology, rooted in a brilliant narrative -- Gili Izikovich, Haaretz