(cover art pending)

Wakefield Press

October 2019

ISBN 978-1-939663-45-0

$15.95 US

176 pp

Translated from the Yiddish
אַ טױט: שריפֿטן פֿון אַ זעלבסטמערדער

Zalman Shneour

Wakefield Press 2019

In a Yiddish take on Notes from Underground, a dark, expressionist love affair develops in a large, unnamed Eastern European city between the young, impoverished, and violently self-loathing teacher, Shloyme—and a hungry, spiteful, and unsettlingly sensual revolver. 

Purchased from a friend ostensibly to protect him from the pogroms sweeping the empire, the weapon instead opens a portal to Shloyme’s innermost demons, and through it he begins his methodical mission to eradicate any remnants of life and humanity in him and pave the way for his self-destruction. 

A Death takes the form of a diary that follows the Jewish calendar, describing hallucinatory demons and parasitical urges as its author spends his remaining days excising all his responsibilities and acquaintances from a life now devoted to not living.

What people are saying:
 

"Atmosphere abounds in this short, bleak novel."

   — Tobias Carroll, Words without Borders 

"Most of this (in)action is high morbid wit and Kennedy’s miraculous English allows as much Yiddish laughter as our too-Latinized tongue can probably bear. It is all very subtle despite the histrionics, with a hauntingly comic despair."

   — Martin Billheimer, Counterpunch

"A disturbingly satisfying read."

   — M. A. Orthofer, The Complete Review

"A forgotten masterwork of Yiddish literature."

   — Mikhail Krutikov, Forverts

A Death: Notes of a Suicide